Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Jill Green and Jonathan Morrell
The Stonehills complex in Gateshead will become Pride Media Centre, offering a range of opportunities and support to the LGBT+ community as well as their allies.
The compound will be the home of Pride Community Network, a not-for-profit organisation and will become the new base for North East station, Pride Radio 89.2 fm, which currently broadcasts online to around 125 countries from studios at Newcastle’s Dance City.
The building, which was previously occupied by the BBC, will also see the launch of an online television station, Out and Proud TV, later this year.
The Stonehills centre has a number of tv and radio studios, recording booths and 16 offices which will be available to fledgling businesses from both the LGBT+ community and their supporters.
The aim is for businesses to develop and be nurtured in the incubator hub, in a safe environment with support given to address any particular issues.
At the same time, the centre will run a range of outreach programmes aimed at reaching isolated members of the LGBT+ community and deliver to them a range of relevant services.
Initially, the management team are being seconded from Pride World Media, which is a multi-platform LGBT+ broadcaster, to help the venture get off the ground.
“This is a really exciting venture and we’re delighted to be able to run the first dedicated LGBT+ business and media centre in the UK, “ said Jonathan Morrell, chair of the board of PCN and TV broadcaster and journalist.
“There is a real opportunity here for us to do something very special and give the LGBT+ community the chance to turn their business ideas into a reality with the full support of a strong network of experts.
“We are extremely grateful to Gateshead Council for being so forward-thinking in allowing us to launch this unique venture here in the North East.”
Cllr John Adams added: “We’re delighted to welcome Pride Community Network to Gateshead, not only because they’re dynamic and ambitious but because they promote and embrace diversity.
“As a council, this is something we are very much supportive off, and as a gay man, it is important to me personally. The council is helping the company get started and we’re looking forward to seeing and hearing more from Pride Community Network in the new year.”
The not-for-profit organisation is now looking for support from businesses across the region which are interested in building their relationship with the LGBT+ community.
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