Questions have been raised over the future of Luton Pride after false claims were made by one of its organisers.
At a public meeting on November 13, LGBT supporters were told that £40,000 funding was secured for the event – with £15,000 allegedly promised by Luton Galaxy.
It was also stated The Mall in Luton had agreed to donate £25,000 funding as well as decorate its shopping centre in rainbow colours on the day Pride is held - July 23, 2016.
But last week, both The Mall and Luton Galaxy confirmed the funding claims were false. A spokesman for The Mall said: “These claims are simply not true.”
When contacted by Luton News, organiser Jake Turner-Coombs continued to insist the information was correct.
He said: “So everything I have in writing is false? I’m not playing games.”
Mr Turner-Coombs, 21, also made claims to local press that the event had booked Sam Smith and Adele to appear for less than £10,000 apiece.
But a spokesman for Purple PR, who represent both performers, denied any such booking had been made. He said: “We’ve checked with their respective teams and this information is 100% false.
“Neither artist is booked to perform.”
An alternative steering group has now been formed by Pride supporters wishing for the event to take place.
It is being led by Luton businesswoman Tina Haynes. She said: “At this particular moment in time I cannot definitely say that Luton Pride will go ahead.
“However, there is widespread support and I have been asked to see if I can salvage something - to this end I’ve so far managed to bring on board my business partners.
“We are optimistic we can do something for the Luton community and there is a will to make it a very real event. We will know much more come the New Year and will update people on a regular basis.”
Stockwood Park has been booked provisionally for July 23, 2016.