Wigan Pride will be bigger and better than ever

from left, Sammy Williams, Lily-Rose Williams, one, Mary Holland and Danniele Williams from Norley Hall at Wigan Pride
from left, Sammy Williams, Lily-Rose Williams, one, Mary Holland and Danniele Williams from Norley Hall at Wigan Pride

The borough will once again celebrate diversity and tolerance as the second Wigan Pride event was unveiled.

Following the massive success of last year’s inaugural event the town centre will once again be turned into a rainbow celebration of LGBTQ people this September.

Organisers promise the second Pride will be bigger and better than last year, with the festivities given an extra emphasis as 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Britain.

The festival is on August 12 and will take place in Believe Square, with a family-friendly fiesta of live entertainment, stalls, competitions and children’s attractions to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s journey towards equality.

Wigan Pride is being put together by an organising committee led by voice and engagement group BYOU Plus with support from arts venue The Old Courts, Wigan Council, the LGBT Foundation, Wigan Borough CCG, Greater Manchester Police, St John Ambulance and volunteers who have previously worked on Manchester Pride.

BYOU Plus co-ordinator Jess Eastoe said: “We are so delighted that Pride is back by popular demand. We aim to be bigger and better to really demonstrate the voice of local people and engage everyone with our festival.

“It is incredible that every corner of our borough is getting involved with Pride to empower and engage all our residence and ensure we continue the journey to equality for all.”

As well as the day-long festival the celebrations and entertainment will continue into the evening with at least one major Wigan venue expected to host an after-party. The organisers are also linking up with other community groups across the borough by forming a partnership with the team behind Leigh Carnival, which this year happens on June 4. Local schools are also getting involved with pupils taking part in a competition to design a T-shirt which will be printed in time for the festival.

Wigan Pride also enjoys the full backing of the local authority which in recent years has run several high-profile campaigns around diversity and acceptance including the current #BelieveImOnlyHuman drive.

Coun Jo Platt, portfolio holder for young people, said: “The benefits from our first Wigan Pride are still being felt, with community groups and organisations linking into our LGBTQ groups to ensure that the message of strength in unity is achieved. Wigan Pride 2017 takes place in Believe Square on August 12. To find out more or get involved email Jess or Zak Bretherton at byoupluswigan@gmail.com