Torbay council has approved plans for a four-day Pride event, the first in the area.

PrideTorbay is backed by local gay businesses who have come together under the torgay.co.uk portal.

“We would encourage anyone involved in the tourism industry in Torbay (or any other business in Torbay for that matter) to offer their full support to the organising committee,” the group said.

“PrideTorbay could easily be one of the biggest events in Torbay this year and will grow year on year.

“Anybody wishing to become involve in the event should join the Official Pride Torbay Group on Facebook.”

The Facebook group said that Pride would combine “a variety of events including both indoor and outdoor parties, a boat trip, film screenings and a whole host of surprises to be revealed in the very near future.

“A Pride Torbay committee is currently being formed, made up of a cross section of the Torbay gay community.

“We will be meeting in the next few weeks to decide on a date (probably early summer) and format for the festival.”

Torbay is referred to as the “English Riviera,” and is located in a natural harbour in Lyme Bay, midway between Exeter and Plymouth.

The towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham are all part of the unitary authority area.

“It was the gay community in Brighton in the late 1970s which led the way with the regeneration of the resort into the success it is today,” torgay.co.uk founder Mark Hoyle told the Herald Express, a local paper, at the launch of the portal.

“Quirky little shops which appeared in the lanes soon led to major investments in the area.

“A united gay community in Bournemouth has had the same effect there too. Why not do the same thing in Torquay?”