NORTHERN Pride- an event to celebrate and support the North East LGBT+ community- has been postponed for a year because of coronavirus.

Earlier this year Northern Pride launched its UK Pride campaign to “elevate and celebrate the North East LGBT+ Community” with a series of events leading up to their festival weekend of July 17 to 19, in Newcastle, sponsored by Barclays.

But uncertainty over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led the celebrations to be postponed until next year.

Organisers confirmed it will be held in the city from July 23 to 25, 2021 instead.

Ste Dunn, chair of Northern Pride, believes this was the most responsible decision.

He said: “We have had to make the heart-breaking decision to postpone our UK Pride celebration until next year. We’d hoped we would have been able to deliver our best campaign to date, with every event planned to include our most diverse festival weekend.

“But we have to take this action to ensure we protect and keep our community, service providers, emergency services and our team of volunteers safe during this pandemic.”

Ste also sent this thanks to Weston-super-Mare Pride, which was to take over the UK Pride title for 2021 and the UK Pride Organisers Network Board, for supporting the move.

“We are looking forward to now handing over the UK Pride Flag to Weston-super-Mare for their event now scheduled for 2022,” he said.

“Northern Pride would like to thank all key workers including our NHS and all carers for their support during this time, and we continue to encourage everyone where they are able, to #stayhome and help fight this virus.

“While we move our UK Pride celebration, our commitment to everyone goes unchanged, to elevate and celebrate our community, and we will be back with all the events we’ve promised earlier this year.”

Councillor Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said he was 'very saddened' to hear about the reluctant postponement of this year’s UK Pride, but agreed it was unavoidable in the current circumstances.

He said: “Unfortunately we’re seeing the cancellation of all major events planned in the city for over the summer.

"Pride is always one of the highlights of the year, not just as a fantastic, colourful celebration of the LGBT community in our city, but as a symbol of the diverse, open and inclusive city that we are.

“This year was going to be extra special, as we were going to be the host city for the national UK Pride event as well. However, I’m delighted that the organisers of UK Pride have confirmed that we can host the event next year instead.

“Pride wouldn’t happen without a dedicated organising team of volunteers, and I know they’ll be gutted by this decision. I’d like to pass on my sincere thanks and gratitude to each and every one of them for their hard work to date.

“I’d like to assure them, and everyone in the LGBT community, that the City Council will be working with the Pride Committee to make sure that the 2021 Pride is the best our city has ever seen.”

Northern Pride will continue to support the community via its website and through its social media channels, including its current Live and Local campaign on Facebook Live.