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UPDATED: Isle of Wight Pride has seen off stiff competition from around the country to be announced as the hosts of next year’s UK Pride.

The first UK Pride took place at Pride in Hull back in July with a huge increase in attendee numbers and visitors from across the country. That boost to the local economy is set to be replicated on the Island when Isle of Wight Pride returns – with UK Pride – on 21st July 2018.

Licensed by the UK Pride Organisers Network (UKPON), UK Pride is the national equivalent of EuroPride and WorldPride.

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The decision was made this morning following a week-long conference in which each Pride event had just 15 minutes to present their bid.

Other areas in the running were Exeter, Folkestone, Liverpool, Preston and Wales.

Shayne Jackson, Youth Pride Committee Chair at Isle of Wight Pride said:

“A year in which the MP called gay people ‘dangerous to society’, prominent homophobic columns appeared in the local press and a Councillor suggested banning homosexuals from public toilets, 2017 saw the inaugural Isle of Wight Pride, uniquely taking place on a beach with thousands turning out in support. UK Pride status will enable the Island to build on this success and create a major celebration of diversity and inclusivity, showing the rest of the UK what an amazing place it is.”

UPDATE @ 15:40 – Reacting to today’s news, Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has said:

“I am delighted for Joe and his team to have won the right to host UK Pride event next year. This is really good news.

“It’s going to be a great occasion for everyone to share in, enjoy themselves and to make an important statement about tolerance.  It is also going to show the UK what a welcoming place the Island is.”

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