LGB Alliance seeks to reverse London Community Foundation funding decision

20 Apr 2022 News

LGB Alliance has returned the money to the London Community Foundation (LCF) after its grant was suspended last week, but will challenge the decision.

The LGB Alliance was one of over 700 voluntary and community organisations to be awarded a share from a £4.58m fund from Arts Council England, which aimed to make creative events part of this June’s jubilee celebrations.  

However, LCF, which was the distributing partner that awarded the funding to LGB Alliance, suspended the grant when it became aware of concerns about the charity. 

Last week LCF said: “As of 11 April 2022, we have become aware that the charitable status of the organisation is being questioned. In line with our usual practice where a grantee is under investigation or review this grant is suspended.”  

LGB Alliance today said it has returned the funding, but will challenge the decision.  

In a statement, Kate Barker, managing director of LGB Alliance, said she was “absolutely thrilled” when the LCF awarded it funding. 

“We wanted to make a film, ‘Queens’, to celebrate the Jubilee, which would record the experiences of older gay men. We had started to produce a moving, thoughtful and important piece chronicling the lives of those who have endured the toughest of times,” she added. 

‘Shocked and disappointed’ 

LGB Alliance was registered as a charity in April 2021, despite “inflammatory language”, with the Charity Commission publishing a detailed explanation about its decision.  

This decision is being challenged at the Charity Tribunal by Mermaids, with support from the Good Law Project. A full hearing is scheduled for September. 

LGB Alliance disagreed with the LCF’s interpretation that this means its charitable status is being question. 

Barker said: “We were shocked and disappointed when we were told the funding was being withdrawn and the money must be sent back.

“The LCF’s social media post claimed our charitable status was ‘being questioned’ but this is untrue. Instead it is the regulatory body, the Charity Commission, who awarded us our charity status who are being taken to a tribunal by complainants who disagree with their decision.” 

‘Biased and discriminatory outcome’

Barker claimed that withdrawing the funding was discriminatory and said LGB Alliance will challenge the outcome. 

“Today, the London Community Foundation has asked that we return the money and, of course, we have done so,” she said.  “But we will be seeking to reverse their decision.

“We want to make our film, and I would ask that our supporters are patient as we challenge, rigorously, what we believe to be a biased and discriminatory outcome.

“I hope you will agree that we must continue to say to the gay men who came forward to appear in Queens that their stories are worth telling. We want them to hear that their lives truly are remarkable.” 

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