Winchester wins the Purple Flag’s official seal of approval for a ‘good night out’

Winchester has been singled-out with five other UK cities for its improved night-time safety and experience, by being awarded Purple Flag status. The winning cities – Bristol, High Wycombe, Halifax, Oxford, Bournemouth and Winchester – have all been recognised for showing evening visitors an entertaining and safe night out.

Purple Flag is a new town-centre award - similar to the Blue Flag for beaches - backed by Government, police and business. To win Purple Flag status towns and cities must be welcoming to everyone, offer safe ways for visitors to travel home, provide a good mix of venues and attractions and be appealing not just at night but during the day too. Purple Flag towns can expect to benefit from lower crime and anti-social behaviour, and more visitors.

Martin Blackwell, ATCM Chief Executive said “It’s a real pleasure to be awarding Purple Flags to these towns and cities. It demonstrates that our towns at night can be places for everyone, that are clean and safe, with great public spaces, cultural attractions and unique identities”

The award winners join just nine other Purple Flag holders across the country who’ve met the high standards needed including Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.

Philip Kolvin QC, Chairman of the Purple Flag Advisory Committee said:  “People deserve a safe and enjoyable night out and want to know where is good to visit. It is great to see six new towns being recognised for providing a high quality and enjoyable night-time experience. The night-time economy makes a vital contribution to the UK’s financial and social prosperity. Purple Flag plays a key role in helping town and city centres raise their standards and reap the benefits. We are looking forward to unveiling more Purple Flags across the country in the future.”

The Purple Flag initiative is led by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), alongside supporters including the Association of Chief Police Officers, Diageo, Home Office, Local Government Regulation (LACORS) and many other high profile national bodies.

Cllr Dominic Hiscock, portfolio holder for Economic Prosperity and BID board member, is pleased with the efforts everyone has made; "Achieving Purple Flag status has been the result of excellent partnership working. Colleagues from a range of disciplines have been involved in writing the application documents, discussions with the assessors, and guiding the assessors around the city centre in the evening. Well done to everyone involved!"

Purple Flag aims to raise standards and broaden the quality and appeal of city and town centres at night. The scheme provides research, training and development to helps towns and cities develop their night-time economy, improve management strategies, tackle issues such as anti-social behaviour and encourage a diverse evening offering.

The Purple Flag awards were presented last night at a ceremony hosted by Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), Nottingham Business Improvement District ‘We Are Nottingham’ and Nottingham City Council.

About Purple Flag

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust Night Vision report in 2006.

Purple Flag is:

• An accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in the evening and night-time economy.

• A comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples designed to help transform town and city centres at night.

• A research, training and development programme, to help towns and cities improve their evening and night-time economy.

Towns with Purple Flag Status:

• Bath
• Birmingham
• Bristol
• Clerkenwell, Islington, London
• Covent Garden, Westminster
• Halifax
• High Wycombe
• Kingston upon Thames
• Leicester square, Westminster
• Liverpool
• Manchester
• Nottingham 
• Oxford
• Winchester
• Bournemouth

Purple Flag Advisory Committee:

• Chair:  Philip Kolvin QC – Institute of Licensing
• Dr Ziggy MacDonald - The Home Office
• Caroline Horwood - The Home Office
• Cllr Philip Evans – Local Government Regulation
• Mark Baird – Diageo
• Ian Graham  - Association of Chief Police Officers
• Cathie Smith – British Institute of Inn Keeping 
• Mike Desborough – Dept. Communities Local Government 
• Paul Smith - NOCTIS 
• Martin Blackwell - Association of Town Centre Management
• Graham McNally - Kingston First
• Stuart Roberts – Dept. Culture Media Sport
• Keep Britain Tidy
• Colin Neill – Ulster Pubs

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