OFFICIAL OPENING: Cllr David Mellen cuts the ribbon to officially open the Rainbow Road with Leigh Ellis from Notts Pride, and sponsors from Robin Hood Energy, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Together and members of the LGBT community
A Rainbow Road has been created in Nottingham city centre to mark this year’s Nottinghamshire Pride celebrations.
Four parts of Broad Street have been painted with multicolour rainbow stripe flags to show the city’s commitment to the LGBT+ community.
The Rainbow Road will be the finishing point for this year’s Pride parade on Saturday 27 July. Nottinghamshire Pride is the annual LGBT+ celebration, which includes a march through the city centre followed by music and speeches in Old Market Square.
The official opening with a rainbow ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Tuesday 16 July.
The road has been paid for entirely by sponsorship from Nottingham City Homes, Robin Hood Energy, Nottingham Together and money allocated for the council’s statutory duty to promote equalities.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “A Rainbow Road is a really visible way of showing our commitment to supporting the LGBT+ community and I’m pleased to have officially opened it in Hockley.
“The newly pedestrianised Broad Street provides the perfect setting. Local people have told us they want to see more street art in the area to help create a sense of place and identity – so it’s really exciting to see the Rainbow Road in situ to celebrate Pride.”
As well as the Rainbow Road, the Council House in Nottingham will be lit up in rainbow colours each night until the Pride event. The move follows the City Council’s formal motion on 8 July to reaffirm its support for the LGBT+ community.
Cllr Rebecca Langton, Portfolio Holder for Communities in Nottingham, said: “Nottingham is a diverse city that celebrates equality, inclusivity and respect. As shown by the formal motion that passed unanimously by the city council, we want all of our citizens to feel supported and are proud of our diverse LGBT+ residents.
“We hope the Rainbow Road will continue to be a beacon to everyone long after Pride is over.”
Gail Scholes, Chief Executive at Robin Hood Energy, said: “Robin Hood Energy is proud to support the Rainbow Road. It’s a great way for local businesses like ourselves to support not only Pride but support our LGBT colleagues and the Nottingham LGBT community. The road looks great and we can’t wait to see it during the full Pride celebrations.”
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “NCH has been a strong supporter of the city’s Pride parade over the years. Our staff love being a part of the day’s celebrations so supporting something like the Rainbow Road was a must for us. It’s great for us to come together with partners to show the rest of the UK we are an open city and we support our thriving LGBT community here.”
Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes are two of the most inclusive employers in Britain – and feature in this year’s Top 100 Employers list by lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equality charity Stonewall. Both organisations had to demonstrate their expertise in 10 areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, senior leadership, procurement and how well they have engaged with LGBT+ communities.
Rosey Donovan, Community, Engagement, Equality and LGBT Lead for Nottingham City, said: “This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall; whilst reflecting on the past 50 years and the way society has transformed beyond imagination, I am delighted to have played a part in bringing the Rainbow Road to Nottingham. This enables us all to look ahead with confidence and reinforce our solidarity for the LGBT+ Community. I am proud of our city and I am proud to work for Nottingham City Council.”
For more details about Nottinghamshire Pride, visit www.nottinghamshirepride.co.uk.