Purple tinted celebration to thank award winners

Monday afternoon saw the new Guildhall Winchester reception playing host to the city’s Purple Flag celebrations. Guests gathered on Monday afternoon to be thanked by the Mayor of Winchester for their efforts to achieve a Purple Flag award for Winchester’s evening and night time economy.

The accolade has been given to Winchester city centre by the Association of Town Centre Managers in recognition of its variety of cultural evening activities, warm welcome, and excellent Pubwatch scheme. It is based on an objective assessment of the area from late afternoon until the last movements of the night – in Winchester’s case, around 3am. It is the town centre equivalent of blue flags for beaches, and green flags for parks. T

he Winchester BID and City Council worked together to apply for the award. National assessors visited the city centre in September, and made their assessment based on criteria such as safety, access and range of leisure and entertainment activities. This included a trip to the CCTV control room for the city centre, to witness excellent co-ordination of the city’s police, publicans and doormen.

The Mayor of Winchester thanked not only those officers who bid for the award, but the Winchester city centre businesses who made it possible to reach the Purple Flag standards; “Once again, Winchester has been recognised nationally. This time, we have been awarded the Purple Flag accreditation for our vibrant, welcoming and safe night time economy – one of only six cities across the UK to receive the accreditation this year.“

The Purple Flag will help Winchester to raise its profile as a city centre to be enjoyed, building on the excellent work of Winchester City Council’s Tourism Marketing team and Winchester BID’s marketing campaigns. In turn, there should be even more visitors to our shops, eateries and leisure facilities which will result in more spending in the city centre.

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, portfolio holder for economic prosperity and Winchester BID board member was proud of the new award for Winchester; “The Purple Flag assessors were especially pleased with the joint working between different agencies, and the welcoming, cultural atmosphere of Winchester city centre. We now get to enjoy Purple Flag status for the next two years, time to keep on improving our already outstanding performance.”

Details of all the Purple Flag award winners in previous years and for 2010 can be found at http://www.purpleflag.org.uk/