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G-A-Y Late in London announces 'shock' closure

LGBTQ+ club G-A-Y Late in London's Soho will be closing on 10 December due to the lack of police presence and concerns around street safety.

Jeremy Joseph, the owner of G-A-Y Bar, G-A-Y Late, and the gay nightclub Heaven, announced on X, formerly Twitter: 'It is with great sadness that I've made the decision to close G-A-Y Late. I know this will come as a shock to a lot of people and many loyal customers will feel saddened by this news.'

Despite G-A-Y being a profitable venue, Joseph said it has become increasingly difficult to guarantee customer and staff safety once they leave the premises, attributing the difficulties to serious understaffing of police in the area.

'As a result of sometimes being the only venue open late at night in the surrounding area, it has led to customers and staff being attacked on their way to and from the venue,' he added.

The constant building works, the development of the St Giles and Denmark Street area, and the increased traffic near G-A-Y Late's queue and fire exit have also posed additional challenges to operating the venue.

'I have done everything I can to try to fight on and keep G-A-Y Late going, at a great cost to my own mental health, but it is simply not possible to run G-A-Y Late in its current location and it's starting to take too much of a toll on me personally,' Joseph added.

No staff will be affected by the closure, as they will all be redeployed to G-A-Y Bar and Heaven.

Applications to increase the capacity and ensure the wheelchair accessibility at Heaven in London's Charing Cross have been granted approval by Westminster City Council, a development that Jeremy Joseph described as significant positive outcomes.

'I want to thank all the customers who have supported G-A-Y Late and to all the staff who have made it one of the most successful LGBT venues in the UK. This is something I'm very proud of and something that can never be taken away from G-A-Y,' he added.

Michael Kill, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, has called on policymakers and industry stakeholders to 'collaborate on initiatives that safeguard the future of nightlife establishments' in the light of G-A-Y Late's closure.