Rent crisis for Gay's the Word

<p>Gay&#39;s the Word bookshop is facing an uncertain future after local authority Camden Council imposed a 25% rent hike, reports the <em>Camden New Journal</em>. </p><p>The Bloomsbury-based indie, which is the UK&#39;s only gay bookshop, combated closure just three years ago after a similar rent increase which lead to a campaign from celebrity fans such as author Sarah Waters and &quot;Lord of the Rings&quot; star Sir Ian McKellan to sponsor bookshelves. </p><p>Manager Jim MacSweeney said he was &quot;appalled&quot; by the increase, &quot;Given the current economic situation. Camden has no sense of reality. We&#39;re pulling our hair out.&quot;</p><p>A council spokeswoman stated: &quot;If the owner feels that the proposed increase is too high, they can provide evidence to the council to show this which will be taken into consideration. The council has a duty to let its commercial properties at market rent.&quot; Cllr Andrew Marshall added: &quot;It&#39;s great that Gay&#39;s the Word is there, but the problem is we deal with everyone evenly. I don&#39;t think it can be right that just because Camden is your landlord you don&#39;t have to pay commercial rents.&quot;</p><p>The newspaper also reported that nearby indie Marchmont Books is close to closure, while the owner of Meghrab books, also on Burton Street, was planning to challenge a rent increase. <em>The Bookseller</em> <a href="../news/111645-high-street-loses-two-independent-bookshops-a-week.html" target="_blank">reported last week</a> that almost two independent bookshops closed every week last year. </p>