The city of Nottingham has once again been awarded Purple Flag status, an award that it has held since 2010.

Having Purple Flag status indicates that Nottingham is a great, safe and vibrant place for a night out. It also allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out, with accreditation being based on a number of core criteria:

  • the overall wellbeing of the place – whether it is welcoming, caring, clean and safe;
  • accessibility and movement in terms of safe and affordable public transport, secure late night parking, clear and safe pedestrian routes, crowd management, access to information and partnership working;
  • its appeal with regards to having a good mix of early evening activities as well as a good choice of dining venues, well-managed pubs and bars that offer more than just alcoholic beverages, a late-night offer that compliments the diverse appeal of the city as well as a strong arts and cultural offering;
  • the place – the location of venues and having a strong mix of chains and independents to create diversity; attractive public spaces and good signage to create a stimulating destination;
  • having clear policies, aims and a strategy for delivering these.

Nottingham BID is the main driving force behind the city securing Purple Flag accreditation, working in partnership with other organisations in the city.  These include Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Community Protection, the Crime and Drugs Partnership, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University.

The excellent partnership working, which has seen Nottingham become the first city to introduce a number of national best practise initiatives, was evident during the assessment carried out by the Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), the organisation that manages the Purple Flag programme.

Nottingham Business Improvement District’s (BID’s) approach to the management of the evening and night-time economy, which is what Purple Flag accreditation acknowledges, is also being heralded as a shining example of best practice on a national level by the ATCM. 

There are a number of activities that Nottingham BID spearheads that help the city achieve Purple Flag status.

One of these is Best Bar None.  This is a national scheme backed by the Home Office that provides accreditation to licensed premises that are well managed and operated.  Nottingham has one of the largest and most successful Best Bar None schemes in the country with a record 116 establishments in the city centre securing accreditation last year, a figure that has been rising year on year. 

In conjunction with Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Nottingham BID also funds the Street Pastors who provide on-street support in the city centre on a Friday and Saturday night, helping to look after people who have become vulnerable on a night out in the city.

In addition Nottingham BID operates a radio link scheme enabling businesses in the city centre to share information about what is happening in the city centre.

“Receiving Purple Flag status is important for the city as it gives national recognition that Nottingham city centre is well managed in relation to cleanliness and safety as well as having a diverse range of venues for a great night out,” said Richard Johal, a director of Nottingham BID. “This should help to encourage more people to come into the city in the evening, particularly to enjoy the many wonderful restaurants, bars, pubs and entertainment venues that we have.”

Councillor Sam Webster, Portfolio Holder for Finance, Growth and the City Centre, said: “We want the city centre to be a place that everyone can enjoy and are committed to working with our partners to keep it clean and safe. There is always more work to be done and we recently undertook consultation on a new strategy to get people’s views on how we can make the city centre an even better place. The fact that Nottingham continues to be awarded national Purple Flag accreditation year after year shows we are heading in the right direction.”

Inspector Paul Gummer, Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Nottingham City Centre, said: “Reading the report of the assessors I was pleased to see the recognition for what they described as ‘a really strong safety partnership built around the Police and Nottingham Business Improvement District, supported by the businesses.”

“I’d like to thank all the agencies and businesses within the night time economy for their past and continuing efforts to keep people safe in Nottingham. I’d also l like to congratulate them for being judged as outstanding in terms of the variety and diversity they offer to visitors of the city.”