Purple Flag Awards recognise excellence in place management

Purple Flag is an award scheme offered by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), which recognises excellence in place management in town & city centres at night, setting standards going forward for managing successful evening economies and benchmarking performance.

The initiative aims to improve perceptions of places, address imbalances in activities, retail offer and entertainment, tackle anti-social behaviour, and encourage a diverse evening offer; providing significant recognition for councils and partnerships who deliver key services associated with the night-time economy.

ATCM CEO Martin Blackwell comments, "Our towns and cities must adapt. Retailing is important but not the whole story. Those centres that thrive in the future will be those that have a more balanced economy and utilise their assets 24/7.

Purple Flag really is an exciting initiative. This programme offers the opportunity for national recognition of excellent strategies and best practice across these areas for a variety of places. The scheme will help drive up standards and replace negative perceptions with positive visions by rewarding well-managed evening and night time economies."

Developed by a team of industry experts since 2003, Purple Flag is rigorous accreditation process that helps to tackle many prominent issues associated with night time economy management and is supported by the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, Local Government Regulation (LACORS), NOCTIS, Diageo, and many other high profile national bodies. The scheme focuses on four key themes encompassed by a policy envelope: wellbeing, appeal, place, and movement providing a solid framework for assessment.

The scheme’s increasing popularity has led to a record number of applications for the latest round following the success of the initial rounds in 2009, which saw the likes of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bath, Kingston, Leicester Square, and Covent Garden gain full accreditation.

The latest round (June 2010) generated interest from a range of places, including smaller towns, with High Wycombe and Halifax being awarded Purple Flag Status. It proves that if a centre offers a clean & safe environment, diverse activities & retail offer, excellent transport links, and a great nightlife then the Purple Flag award applies regardless of size/population - it is all in the context! 

Halifax's Deputy Mayor Keith Watson said: "This award is great news for Halifax. It means our town has national recognition as a place that's safe and welcoming to everyone with a good mix of venues and attractions. We will continue to work hard to make sure Halifax keeps this status and continues to offer a safe and enjoyable experience to visitors of all ages, including families."

Round 3 (October 2010 - January 2011) of Purple Flag aplications is now open. Please visit www.purpleflag.org.uk or contact Daniel McGrath daniel.mcgrath@atcm.org to register your interest and discuss your future involvement.

Daniel McGrath
ATCM Project Manager
November 2010