THE community came together to mark the official launch of Bolton Pride 2017.

The event took place in the Octagon Theatre and began the group's campaign for this year, which will culminate in a parade in September

James Edgington, director and co-founder of Bolton Pride, said he had been touched by the support the organisation has received and was hoping this year's parade would be "bigger and better".

He said: "The support from the people has been phenomenal.

"We were amazed when we first started and we thought we would come up against people who might have been a bit unsure.

"But we have chanced that view of a lot of people and it has been a success. It would not have happened without the support of the people of Bolton.

"We are going to have our parade bigger and better."

The group held its first ever Love Bolton Hate Homophobia Parade in September, with more than 350 people taking part to support the LGBT community.

Mr Edgington said the aim for 2017 was to continue to break down barriers and celebrate the town's diversity.

He said: "We want to have an impact, provide safe spaces for the LGBT community and to fight against homophobia.

"Bolton is a brilliant place and we are growing and growing. There were people who said Bolton Pride would not be needed or that they didn't want it.

"But it is clear to me that it is needed and that people do want it."

This year's Love Bolton Hate Homophobia Parade will be held on Saturday, September 30.

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