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Picture gallery: LGBT campaigners rally to keep The Black Cap pub open

PUBLISHED: 12:54 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 16:01 20 April 2015

Protesters gather outside the Black Cap pub in Camden High Street. Picture: Dieter Perry

Protesters gather outside the Black Cap pub in Camden High Street. Picture: Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

More than a hundred protesters gathered outside an iconic gay pub in Camden Town over the weekend amid continuing fears over its future.

The Black Cap pub, well-known for its cabaret acts and drag performances, abruptly closed its doors last Monday.

Faucet Inn had run the venue for the last five years. It announced last week it could “no longer operate” the pub after new owners had taken it over.

The historic venue, around since the 1800s, is one of a handful of LGBT pubs left in north London and the decision left many outraged.

Drag artists, local councillors and LGBT campaign groups gathered outside the pub on Saturday afternoon to protest against the suprise closure.

It comes after a series of failed planning applications were submitted by the prior owners.

The most recent application saw the pub chain firm seek to turn the upper floors of The Black Cap into three flats with roof terraces.

Camden councillors unanimously rejected planning permission for the proposals in February.

More recently, it looked as if the future of the pub may have been more secure after the council listed it as an Asset of Community Value (ACV).

Nigel Harris, director of Camden LGBT Forum, said: “Camden LGBT Forum has a long history with the Black Cap. It was one of our original safe havens for LGBT people, and has been host to dozens of Forum events and outreach sessions and I fondly remember our trip there to celebrate the founding of our Forum 13 years ago.

“It was therefore a shock to find that the Cap had shut its doors on Monday. Even more of a shock was the declaration that the now former owners had sold the venue in December. In my mind this is very much against the ‘spirit’ of planning rules.

“Although the ACV status has not prevented the sale of the venue, as it happened prior to our nomination being accepted, it will limit the terms of use.

“As of yet Camden Council has not received any new requests for planning permission. Should they receive one they will judge it on its merits. I imagine it would be unlikely to go through, however, as the council has made clear its respect for the venue through its granting of ACV status and decisions to turn down planning permission twice in recent years.

“In my mind this means the new owners will keep the venue as a bar. The question is what kind of bar?”

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