Gay club nights at Embassy to continue despite party firm move
GAY nights will continue at Cheltenham's only lesbian and gay club despite the venue parting ways with the firm which ran dedicated events there.
Owners of Embassy nightclub, in Pittville Street, insisted specialised nights would continue at the venue as they remained dedicated to providing a haven for the town's gay community.
The split came after a dispute with promotion company Love Parties, who will now be taking gay nights away from the town to Birmingham and Bristol.
James Hatherly, who runs Love Parties, said the split raised doubts over the club's future as a dedicated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) venue.
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"We will no longer be working at the Embassy nightclub in Cheltenham with immediate effect," he said.
"After a dispute with the building's occupiers we were left with little option. It was a disappointing result.
"We launched at the nightclub some four months ago, immediately turning Saturday nights into a success.
"We increased the revenue and ensured they went from an average of 30 people on a Saturday night to almost 300 on the busier weeks.
"Love Parties is going to be doing a new project called The Love Party Bus which takes people to the big clubs in the big cities once a month – Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester.
"We are unsure if Embassy will stay as an LGBT club anymore."
But Leslie Grant, who owns the lease at the club, said despite the fallout he remained committed to providing a place for members of Cheltenham's LGBT community.
"Our contract with Love Parties has come to an end and we will not be renewing it," he said. "But we are still committed to running gay nights at the club so nothing will change in that regard."
He also said there were plans to start up cabaret and karaoke nights on Sundays, as well as opening late on Fridays and Saturdays.
He added: "Running gay nights has been a success since we started doing it earlier in the year.
"If it is done in the right way it can be all inclusive.
"We welcome people whatever their sexuality to come here and have a good time as long as they are respectful.
"We want it to continue that way."
The nightclub reopened during the summer as a dedicated LGBT venue – the town's first since Club EXS closed last year. Plans were launched last week to convert the former EXS site, in the High Street, into a real ale pub.