London gay club XXL is facing closure after plans for a £1.3 billion development have been given the green light.
The 1,500 capacity club, which has been open for 19 years, is one of London's oldest gay clubbing institutions, and the last gay club in the capital's Southwark area.
XXL club owners recently lost a court appeal with investors Native Land, who are backing the plan for 489 apartments, a hotel, an office building and shops above the club's railway arch location and on the neighbouring land.
XXL has been given three months to vacate the premises, with investors sharing that the famous railway arches will be for 'as-yet-undecided cultural uses'.
James McNeil, who co-runs XXL, shared with The Guardian: “It was the only LGBT bar or venue left in Southwark. It is like we have been socially cleansed of LGBT venues. We are one of the few venues serving the 30-plus community. There are people who haven’t come out who will go there because it is a safe zone.”
Mark Ames, who co-founded XXL in 2000, shared: “Yet again, London is about to lose something that is unique to its character: the idea of open arms. This is a reflection on our society. There is no room for difference; everything has to be sterilised and the same. This is being done by people who don’t care about London’s community. All they care about is turning a buck.”
Sign the petition against the closure of XXL.
LGBTQ+ venue Royal Vauxhall Tavern, in Southwark's neighbouring borough Lambeth, was made a listed building in recent years.
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