The organisers of Pride in Hull are urging businesses to share in the success of an event which was hailed as one of the highlights of Hull’s 2017 City of Culture programme.
Trustees from the Pride in Hull charity launched their sponsorship campaign with a networking event at The Deep which was sponsored by The Deep Business Centre. Many more businesses and other organisations from Hull and East Yorkshire attended the gathering and told of the benefits of backing Pride in Hull as part of a wider commitment.
Freya Cross, Business and Corporate Manager at The Deep, said:
We wanted to get involved because of the importance of diversity and equality. We have an important role in supporting small businesses. By hosting their event we are supporting Pride in Hull as a small business and we are reinforcing our own message about the importance of diversity and inclusivity.
We still get asked by same-sex couples whether they can get married at The Deep, because it transpires that prejudices still exist in some places or are perceived to exist.
Matt Walton, Chair of Pride in Hull, said this year’s event will take place in Queens Gardens on Saturday 21 July and presents a big opportunity for businesses to show their commitment to equality in a very visible way. At the 2017 event, 2,000 people took part in a huge parade around Hull city centre, 44,000 people joined the celebrations in Queens Gardens and social media reached more than 2.3 million people.
The trustees have now captured some of the highlights in a brochure featuring different levels of partnership opportunities as they strive to cover the costs, which last year exceeded £100,000.
Pride in Hull is in discussions with well-known figures as the trustees plan a programme of entertainment which last year delivered Marc Almond, B*Witched, Courtney Act and local legend Bobby Mandrell.
Plans for 2018 also include a street food festival featuring more than 50 vendors and a commitment to improve accessibility for all, making the site easier to navigate.
Nathan Greenfield, one of the trustees, said:
Fundraising is a massive challenge every year, but we know we have a really strong event that has huge potential for the businesses who partner with us. It’s a unique opportunity to show your commitment to equality and diversity in a real and tangible way and on a very public platform.
Ben France, BP Pride lead for the company’s site in Hull, said:
This is something that BP believes in very strongly. We have a diversity group within BP where employees volunteer some of their work time to address inclusion and part of my role is to promote LGBT inclusion with education sessions and taking part in Pride.
BP recognises the value of it and the contribution it makes to the business. We want to make sure we can attract the best people and we are fully committed to equality and diversity. If you want the most efficient organisation and the best staff you should be taking part in events like this.
Georgia Allenby, Manager of the Hideout Hotel in Hull, said:
We opened a few weeks before Pride last year and it was one of the best events for tourism. We want it to succeed because it is important for us and for other small businesses in the city centre that people keep coming back year on year.
We are an inclusive business and we recognise that it is the way forward to have events like this which bring communities together. It is also great for business to have an event on your doorstep which attracts so many people.