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London’s iconic Heaven nightclub granted protected status from property developers

Nick Duffy January 29, 2020
The crowd at Heaven nightclub.

The crowd at Heaven nightclub. (PYMCA/Getty)

London’s famed Heaven nightclub has been granted a special protected status.

The Charing Cross gay nightclub, which has been in operation for 41 years, is the latest LGBT+ venue to be granted ‘Asset of Community Value’ status to protect it from being sold to prospective property developers.

The protected status, which was previously granted to London’s Royal Vauxhall Tavern amid a battle against redevelopment, gives the community ‘first dibs’ on purchasing the venue if it is put up for sale.

Protected status ‘safeguards’ Heaven as an LGBT+ venue.

Westminster City Council granted Asset of Community Value status to Heaven on Monday, after pressure from the Night Time Industry Association.

The Council’s LGBT+ lead Ian Adams told PinkNews: “Granting Heaven special status gives the local LGBT+ community a say in the future of this historic venue, as we know how important it is to protect the character of Soho and the wider West End.

“The club celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. So much has changed for the better for LGBT+ people in that time, but we’re determined our city remains a welcoming and friendly place for people of all walks of life. As an asset of community value we hope Heaven can celebrate many more birthdays.”

NTIA boss Michael Kill tweeted: “Fantastic news, one of the most iconic venues in London, great to hear it’s received the recognition for its work within the community, particular congratulations to Jeremy Joseph who has been flying the LGBT flag for several decades.”

London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé tweeted: “Great to hear #Heaven has been declared an Asset of Community Value. By @CityWestminster . G-A-Y has been an important part of London’s LGBTQ+ scene for so long, it’s wonderful that this will help to protect its future. Congratulations to @JeremyJoseph”

Heaven nightclub will be opened as a wedding venue
Heaven nightclub will be opened as a wedding venue (PinkNews)

Heaven owner Jeremy Joseph welcomed the move to protect the “future of Heaven as an LGBT+ venue”.

He said: “In December G-A-Y Signed 19 Year New Lease & Now, Thanks To @CityWestminster with [the NTIA], Heaven Has Been Granted An Asset of Community Status. THANK YOU To Everyone Who Made This Possible #Savenightlife”

The iconic London nightclub got permission to host weddings last year

PinkNews reported last year that the famous gay nightclub had been granted permission to operate as a wedding venue for its 40th anniversary.

The license permits Heaven to be “used as a venue for the solemnisation of marriages and/or the formation of civil partnerships” – though not during its regular operation as a nightclub, or while drinks are being sold.

Heaven hosted its first wedding in December for the winner of Drag Race UK, The Vivienne. The wedding was attended by many of The Vivienne’s Drag Race UK cast mates, with Blu Hydrangea, Cheryl Hole and Gothy Kendoll sharing snaps from the wedding.

The club was totally transformed for the occasion, with trees, floral arrangements and tables for guests.

The club’s owner Jeremy Joseph apologised in 2016 after blaming people from Somalia for rising crime in London.

More: heaven, London, nightclub, Royal Vauxhall Tavern

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