Winchester turns purple to celebrate a great night out

Press Release: 11/09/2012

Purple Flag

It's Purple Flag Week in Winchester from Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 September where the city of Winchester will be celebrating the benefits that the evening and night time economy bring to residents, visitors and businesses. Winchester was awarded ‘Purple Flag’ status for the second year running in 2011 because it offers an entertaining and safe night out, and this year aims to continue this legacy of success.

The action-packed Purple Flag Week, is part of the Purple Flag accreditation scheme, a town and city centre award - similar to the Blue Flag for beaches - backed by Government, police and business, and sponsored by Diageo GB. Events taking place will highlight the contribution the night-time economy makes to Winchester, whilst also seeking to challenge the common negative, stereotypical perceptions about the safety and quality of our town and city centres during the evening.

The week long celebrations include a variety of events to appeal to all tastes from live music through to photographic exhibitions. For the serious foodies among you there will be special offers at some of Winchester’s finest eateries. The Theatre Royal Winchester is hosting the production of A Government Inspector – rather apt considering Winchester City Council’s role in organising Purple Flag Week! There will also be ghost and lamp light special guided walks, a free evening greeters’ service (when you will be shown around the town by someone who knows it well) and the door staff at the cities pubs will be wearing purple shirts so keep an eye out for them! For a full list of events visit

Cllr Robert Humby, Winchester City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Strategic Planning and Economic Development added,

The Council is committed to ensuring Winchester’s City Centre remains lively, vibrant and economically viable by day and by night. Purple Flag week is just one example of how we work in partnership with other local organisations and the community, from the thriving business and arts community through to the University of Winchester.”

Chris Turner, Executive Director of Winchester Business Improvement District, is supportive of the week of celebrations,

Purple Flag Week is about the businesses and the community joining together to show that we are proud of our city and highlight all that is excellent about Winchester. We hope that everyone will join in the celebration."

The Purple Flag programme is run by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), Philip Kolvin QC, Chairman of the Purple Flag Board commented,

Purple Flag Week is a fantastic way to showcase the best that our towns and cities have to offer and the important role that the evening economy plays in our local communities. Thirty-one towns and cities across the country have already been awarded a Purple Flag accreditation and we hope that the events taking place up and down the land will encourage many other centres to get involved. With the support of Government, the police, local businesses and our sponsors Diageo Great Britain, Purple Flag is effectively challenging the negative perceptions of our urban areas at night time and is helping us all to celebrate the quality, diversity and vibrancy on offer in our towns and cities.”

If you would like your business to be on the billing for Purple Flag Week, and want to hold an event or do something special to mark the occasion, contact Alison Woods at Winchester City Council on 01962 848 347 or email