Preston city centre is celebrating today after learning it has retained the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE). Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 17:00 & 05:00.
Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the ENTE. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside – a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain.
Mark Whittle from Preston BID said: ‘Preston city centre has retained the standard for its fifth year now, which is a major achievement for the city. The leisure economy in Preston continues to develop, boasting an offer that far outweighs that of any of our neighbours.
‘The Purple Flag standard is an important accolade for Preston and through BID’s partnership with the sector’s venues, the police and other interested parties; we are committed to ensuring that the city centre remains a vibrant and safe place to visit. We will be celebrating Preston’s Purple Flag status later this year to remind people why we’re worthy of this prestigious accolade’.
Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the ATCM said:
“There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation. The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer — this can only be achieved by people working together and across the country we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”
Preston will officially receive its renewed Purple Flag accreditation along with Dublin One, Leeds, Reading, Wexford, Leicester Square, Salisbury, Sheffield and other locations who have had their Full Renewal status renewed, at an awards ceremony which will take place on the 08 February 2017 in Carrick on Shannon.