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Iconic Lambeth gay pub gets grant to survive coronavirus crisis

One of Britain’s oldest and most iconic gay pubs has been given a lockdown-busting grant to keep the LGBT+ venue going.

Lambeth council has given £20,000 to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern (RVT) – named one of the “most at risk”  businesses in the borough when it closed due to the outbreak.

The council announced yesterday that its application for a grant from the independent hospitality fund was successful.

The fund is part of Lambeth’s local economy hardship fund, set up to provide £4.2m in grants to support more than 370 organisations hard hit by the pandemic, including restaurants, pubs, cafes, clubs and music venues.

Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 were on offer to businesses, charities, and not-for-profit organisations to support their chances of survival and recovery.

James Lindsay, chief executive and managing director of RVT, said: “It’s really just a couple of weeks ago Lambeth contacted businesses and invited us to apply, and already the paperwork to get us the money is processed.

“Not only have the council stepped in in our hour of need, they’ve also stepped in at fantastic speed.”

RVT is due to reopen in line with Government guidelines on Saturday, July 4.

Councillor Matthew Bennett, cabinet member for planning, investment and new homes, said: “Our social, creative and community sectors play a critical role in Lambeth’s thriving local economy, support thousands of jobs and are an important part in what makes our town centres, and Lambeth as a whole, so vibrant.

“Keeping businesses open is vital for those who rely on them – but is also vital to support Lambeth’s recovery from this crisis and the economic damage that we are already seeing in our community.

“We mustn’t lose those places and organisations that make Lambeth, Lambeth.”

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