THE firtfirst LGBT night in Rossendale is to be held in Rawtenstall.

Organisers at Lancashire LGBT have planned the bi-weekly event at The Deli in Bank Street for people to enjoy a coffee with like-minded people in a ‘friendly, fun and relaxed environment’.

Nate Nicholson, who runs The Deli, said: “There’s very few places where people can feel safe, especially when they are just exploring who they are, and their identity.

“We wanted to offer that, without any expectation or pressure. We would love for people to come along, have a coffee and meet some new people.”

Katie Corker-Hill, project co-ordinator, said there’s a real need to build a visible community in Rossendale, so LGBT people don’t have to travel to Blackpool or Manchester to feel comfortable.

She said: “It’s very exciting to be holding nights at The Deli, and have others planned.

“The reason we think these nights are important is the nature of Lancashire is quite rural and physically isolated, so there isn’t much of a visible presence of LGBT people.

“Even though, going off national estimates, in Lancashire between seven and eight per cent of people are lesbian, gay and bisexual, and one per cent are trans, which is around 108,000 people.

“People worry about hate crime, homophobia, and transphobia, which they shouldn’t have to, and in places where there is more of a visible presence, this is less of a problem.”

Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale, said: “I think it’s a really good idea and I’m very supportive of it.”

The LGBT night at The Deli will take place on Thursday from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and will run on the second and last Thursdays of the month.