Pride London, the UK’s largest LGBT Pride, has revealed how much it costs to keep the event free-to-attend.

Pride in London has had a chequered history at times, including being organised by the commercial company Mardi Gras before its spectacular failure, and over the years it has often had an entry fee preventing many people from attending.

Pride London, a registered charity, rescued the event and more importantly returned it to being a free event organised by and for the whole community.

However putting on such a large event costs money and lots of it, organisers say.

To create Pride London 2007 cost the charity approximately £ 392,000 (around R 4,836,300) dwarfing the budget of other pride events.

Pride London’s income comes from a variety of sources but two thirds come from sponsorship with the further third being made up of grants from bodies such as the Mayor of London, donations-in-kind and individual giving.

“It costs the charity an enormous amount of money every year to put on our event and not one penny is wasted,” said Laurie Powell, finance director of Pride London.

“We are almost entirely run by volunteers with a small amount of specialist consultant help. We rely on our sponsors and donors for the majority of our income and it is never easy persuading these big firms to part with cash, no matter how good our event is. We can never have too many sponsors and I really do recommend it as a way of demonstrating commitment to LGBT issues.”

He added that Pride London will shortly be launching a new online donation scheme to make it easier for people to support the event.

“There will still be our donations tins and buckets out before and during the event though so please give generously – if everyone attending the event gave just £1 it would make an enormous difference,” he pointed out.

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