Nottingham is celebrating the fact that the city has secured Purple Flag accreditation for a seventh consecutive year.

The Nottingham Business Improvement’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 Association of Town & City Management (ATCM), the organisation that manages the Purple Flag programme.  As an example of this the ATCM brings visitors to the city to learn more about what happens in Nottingham.

Having Purple Flag status indicates that Nottingham is a great, safe and vibrant place for a night out, with accreditation being based on a number of core themes:

  • the overall wellbeing of the place – whether it is welcoming, caring, clean and safe;
  • accessibility and movement in terms of public transport, parking, pedestrian routes, crowd management and access to information
  • its appeal with regards to having a good mix of dining venues, pubs and bars and late night venues as well as a strong arts and cultural offering;
  • the place – the location of venues, a mix of chains and independents; attractive public spaces, good signage  etc
  • having clear policies, aims and a strategy for delivering these.

Assessors commended all the work that has gone into making Nottingham safe and welcoming, acknowledging that the 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.

Particular successes this year are Nottingham’s achievements in relation to Best Bar None.  This is a national scheme that provides accreditation to licensed premises that are well managed and operated.  Nottingham has one of the largest schemes in the UK with a 47% take up, due largely to all the efforts that the Nottingham BID makes to engage with licensed premises in the city centre and support them through the accreditation process.

purple flag
L to R – Paddy Tipping; Cllr Nick McDonald; Inspector Jez Ellis; Melanie Futer; Andy Crawford

The work of the Street Pastors, who are co-funded by the Nottingham BID and the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, was once again recognised. Operating from the Malt Cross, the Street Pastors provide valuable on street support to visitors to 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.

A new group has been launched called the Night Owls, a group of students from the University of Nottingham who work on busy student evenings in the city centre, offering pastoral care to young people who may be at risk.

The Nottingham BID team of Street Ambassadors has been expanded and members of the team are in the city in the evening and during the day to provide advice, support and information to visitors.  Nottinghamshire Police increase staffing levels in the city for busy weekends and its initiative Operation Promote has led to a dramatic reduction in drugs and weapon related crime in the city centre.

The Nottingham BID continues to fund the taxi marshals who help to manage the taxi ranks at night, helping to ensure people get home safely after a night out.  It also funds the late night opening of city centre toilets on Greyhound Street.

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

The Nottingham BID also commissioned a large Purple Sofa that has been in various locations of the city centre over the last few weeks to attract people to different parts of the city and also to help in raising awareness of Purple Flag. Street Lighting in the city centre has also been improved by Nottingham City Council.

The city has been successful in attracting new businesses with many venues opening, both major brands and independents, increasing the choice of food and drink venues.

“We are really pleased that Nottingham has secured Purple Flag status for a seventh consecutive year,” said Andy Crawford. director of the Nottingham BID.  “It is a clear sign to residents, visitors to the city and our student population, that Nottingham is a great and safe place for a night out.   It is a clear acknowledgement too that all the efforts that organisations like the BID and its partner organisations put into making Nottingham an attractive place in the evening are effective.”

Cllr Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport said: “We are delighted that Nottingham has retained its Purple Flag status.  To receive this for the seventh year running is great recognition of the excellent partnership work between the City Council, the BID, the Police, Community Protection and CDP.  Nottingham has a thriving and fantastic night-time offer and this status recognises that we have a safe and welcoming city centre for people of all ages.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping said: “This is independent recognition that Nottingham remains a safe place to visit, especially during the vibrant and hugely popular night-time economy periods. Together with local businesses and partners we have been working hard to ensure that the city retains its Purple Flag status but I would also like to thank the licensed premises within the city for working with us so positively so that people can enjoy a safe and enjoyable night out.”

Chief Inspector Mark Stanley said: “We have been working hard to ensure that the city is clean, safe and enjoyable for residents, students and visitors. It is through our dedicated partnership working that the city retains its Purple Flag status.”

Melanie Futer, Off-Campus Student Affairs Manager at The University of Nottingham, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and great news for Nottingham. We work hard to ensure that our students can enjoy the vibrant nightlife the city has to offer and we are proud of the initiatives we have in place, like Nottingham Night Owls, to help them stay safe. The approach BID has taken means we’re all working together to make the city great for everyone.”

This coming weekend is national Purple Flag weekend.