Winchester City Council and Winchester - A Purple Flag Partnership

Winchester Purple FlagWinchester City Council and Winchester Business Improvement District (BID) led local partners through the Purple Flag process in 2010.  It was a great opportunity to examine the evening period in Winchester holistically, rather than looking solely at one aspect or another.  Colleagues from a number of disciplines, within and outside the Council, were brought together and contributed to an overview of the city centre.  Those partners are now working together to drive up standards and create new opportunities for all age groups in the city centre.

The Purple Flag award has been given to Winchester 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.

The Purple Flag assessors and panel were impressed by Winchester’s strengths, including the:

  • ability of partners to put policy into practice to deliver real results such as community safety initiatives;
  • excellent cultural offer and welcoming atmosphere including the creative use of public buildings;
  • well managed Pubwatch scheme with active participation from licensees;
  • successful partnership working between Winchester City Council, Winchester BID and other key partners such as the police, local businesses and key transport hubs;
  • exceptionally clean and tidy city centre.

Submitting a bid for Purple Flag status in Winchester has been of great benefit to the local organisations involved, and ultimately, to the general public who use the city centre during the evening and night time.  The benefits have included:

  • clarifying the reasons for Winchester city centre being a safe and attractive place to be in the evening, and using this knowledge in marketing materials;
  • identifying weaknesses which can now be addressed;
  • introducing partners to one another who do not usually work together, building relationships and making it easier to take action together;
  • greater knowledge for individual partners about areas which they do not usually deal with, allowing a holistic view of the city centre to be formed.

The 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 security patrols.

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. 

Details of all the Purple Flag award winners in previous years and for 2010 can be found at


  1. The photo shows The Mayor of Winchester Cllr Richard Izard, Cllr Dominic Hiscock, Winchester City Council and Winchester BID officers and local business representatives celebrating the Purple Flag award.
  2. Details of the Purple Flag award can be found at
  3.  More information about Winchester’s Purple Flag achievements are available by contacting Kate Cloud, Head of Economy and Arts, Winchester City Council, email, telephone 01962 848 563

HTF Members from both small and large towns are invited to find out how to assemble a successful entry to achieve the Purple Flag standard at a FREE workshop on 25 February