Lesbian and Gay Community Centres
February 1976 to May 1986
In February 1976 a group of about a dozen people began regular meetings to discuss and plan the setting up of a gay community centre in Birmingham. They were drawn from all the gay groups operating in the city and from the commercial gay scene.
A building was taken on the corner of Allison Street and Bordesley Street, which included meeting rooms and office space for organisations such as Friend and Switchboard. The first gay centre, the Gay Community Centre Bordesley Street operated a coffee shop and provided an informal drop in space. Money was raised through generous donations and subscriptions, no statutory funding was available.
In 1978 the building in Bordesley Street was closed, but the centre committee still existed, later using office space in the Nightingale Club on Thorp Street. By 1981 the committee, which had become more mixed in terms of gender, were seeking a new premises for a new gay centre. After a long search they found premises on Corporation Street next to Aston University and the Lesbian and Gay Community Centre Aston opened in 1984.