CHESTER Pride is celebrating after making the top ten shortlist in the Airbus Community Awards 2021.

It means the LGBT+ charity is guaranteed to win at least £1,000 towards an existing project which is described as "the first of its kind" in the city.

But the organisation could still benefit from up to a whopping £7,000 if it secures enough votes in the grand public vote.

The Airbus Community Awards, supported by our sister paper The Leader, offers 10 deserving causes within a 20-mile radius of the Broughton site the chance to share in £20,000, with first, second, third and runners-up prizes up for grabs.

Chester Pride has secured a five-year lease for the first dedicated LGBT+ space in the city, and will use the funding to purchase equipment and furniture to fit out the centre.

Richard Euston, head of the charity, said: "We are due to open a community centre in October, which will be a dedicated LGBT+ safe space in Chester city centre.

"We will run social and support groups, host an LGBT+ library – the first in the UK, have drop-ins for our helpline and support service, host health and wellbeing activities, and offer a place for other community groups to host their groups or activities.

"The funding will be used to purchase equipment and furniture to fit out our community space. It will go toward books for our LGBT+ library, tables and chairs for our social and support groups, furniture for our helpline drop-in area, a new floor that is needed in the community space, plus paint to freshen up the walls, and finally tools, seeds, benches and furniture, and gardening equipment for our community garden.

"We are at the start of a period of growth for our charity."

Chester Pride works to create safe spaces for LGBT+ people and address the many issues the community faces, with a focus on mental health support, sexual health and gender transitioning.

The charity is also a hate crime reporting centre, specialising in supporting LGBT+ victims of hate crime.