Birmingham’s iconic LGBTQ+ nightlife faces further uncertainty

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The “heart of the city’s LGBTQIA+ nightlife and clubbing scene” is facing an uncertain future after its owners issued a second notice of intention to appoint administrators (NOI).

GB Holdings (UK) and The Nightingale, which is one of the region’s most popular LGBTQIA+ venues, have posted their second NOI in just under a month. broke the news at the end of May that the group was readying administrators, sparking fear for several iconic venues and festivals across the city.

GB Holdings’ website had claimed to own Birmingham Pride, The Nightingale, The Village Inn, one of Birmingham’s oldest LGBTQ+ spaces, The Loft Bar & Kitchen, located next to the Hippodrome, the Solihull Summer Fest, and the Paric Festival, the largest Irish music and culture event at Birmingham’s Irish Centre.

But Birmingham’s night-time economy adviser Lawrence Barton, who was described as the owner of GB Holdings (UK) on the company’s website, told that Birmingham Pride is unaffected by GB Holdings and is a separate entity.

After our article was published on May 30, the company took its website offline and now describes the site as “defunct”.

Before it was removed, GB Holdings (UK)’s website described the company as “a family-owned group of high-performing businesses operating across the entertainment and hospitality sectors. These include three major music festivals…”.

Elsewhere on the homepage under the heading “Our Festivals” it listed Birmingham Pride, Paric Festival, and Solihull Summer Fest.

By filing a notice of intention to appoint administrators, creditors are prevented from taking action for 10 days. GB Holdings (UK) is nearly three months overdue filing its 2023 accounts, and the Registrar of Companies published a compulsory strike-off notice on May 27.

A GB Holdings spokesperson has told “We are unable to comment whilst legal and financial processes are ongoing.”

Barton is also a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands, a West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) leadership commissioner and a board member of Birmingham Southside BID.

The Nightingale’s current directors are David Nash and Terence Runcorn. Both Nash and Runcorn are also part of the GB Holdings leadership team, with Nash looking over festivals and venues and Runcorn in charge of operations.