Ilkley is gearing up for its third annual Pride event at the end of this month.

Saturday June 29 will see what organiser David Shaw, the chair of the Ilkley Pride and Diversity Team, says is the excitement around the event which “clearly shows that Ilkley embraces our main aim”.

The purpose of Ilkley Pride, said David, is to “celebrate and encourage acceptance, tolerance, equality, diversity and give pride among our LGBTQ+ people, their allies and the wider community”.

Several events are planned throughout June, culminating in the big event on the 29th, taking place at the King’s Hall and Winter Garden, with rainbow pride banners and bunting (provided by main sponsor Ilkley BID) displayed on The Grove, Brook Street and Station Road.

David said: “All this gives me and my fabulously hard-working team tremendous encouragement to continue with our important ongoing projects supporting wellbeing and mental health, signposting to vital support groups, working together to reduce hate crime and helping our youth to feel good about themselves and feel welcome and want to contribute fully to their society.”

The month was kicked off at the weekend with a three bridges walk followed by tea and cakes at Wetherspoons Ilkley.

On Friday June 14 there will be a fundraiser and social at The Station Pub from 7pm.

Then June 29 will see a full day of entertainment including refreshments, stalls, crafts, children’s model making, workshops and more.

David added: “We will be hosting a special reception for our sponsors and supporters without who we could not hold our Pride day nor continue with our projects, and we are most indebted to them. Please do support them if you can please. See our website for tickets and to see our list of sponsors.”

Ilkley Pride’s patron is famous Yorkshire playwright Alan Bennett, who has previously sent a message of support for the event.

Mr Bennett said: “It will buck up The Grove up no end especially. Nothing beats hearing laughter at a live performance and finding time now and then to visit Bettys Café for tea and cakes.’

“What I would hope for from LGBT is that one day sexuality will be taken for granted and be no more consequence or interest than the colour of one’s eyes.

"Pride is fine and fun but for some like me lots of events are never easy as we don’t always fit in!

“We all need to work hard on making everyone feel welcome at events and this is what is so important to work towards in life.”