Nottingham has been successful in securing Purple Flag status for a sixth consecutive year, acknowledging the excellent management of the evening and night-time economy in the city centre and indicating that Nottingham is a great, safe and vibrant place for a night out.
This is being celebrated during Purple Flag Weekend (Friday 2 October to Sunday 4 October) with the Nottingham Business Improvement District’s (BID) Street Ambassadors handing out balloons and cards which will give people the chance to win a £100 voucher to spend in the Victoria Centre.
Purple Flag is a national scheme with the accreditation process being similar to the Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches.
Purple Flag accreditation is based on a number of criteria. These include:
o the overall wellbeing of the place – whether it is welcoming, clean and safe;
o accessibility in terms of public transport, parking, pedestrian routes and access to information;
o its appeal with regards to having a good mix of dining venues, pubs and bars and late night venues;
o the place – the location of venues, a mix of chains and independents; attractive public spaces etc
o having clear policies and aims.
In four of the above five criteria, assessors judged Nottingham to have exceeded the standards required to secure Purple Flag accreditation and in the fifth standards were met.
Of particular note according to the assessors is the work of the street pastors, taxi marshals and street ambassadors; the late night opening of city centre toilets on Greyhound Street, the opening hours of which have been extended; the great mix of city centre venues; the animation of public spaces through initiatives like the floral trail and the sweepers; public transport and parking; partnership working in the city centre.
The Nottingham BID led the accreditation process in partnership with Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Community Protection, the Crime and Drugs Partnership and the University of Nottingham.
The partner organisations have also worked together to launch a new Safer Taxi scheme for Nottingham. Its aim is to ensure that people get home safely after enjoying a night out in Nottingham. The key messages are that only the green London style taxis can be flagged down in the city whereas the private hire vehicles or mini cabs must be pre-booked. One of the main safety messages of the scheme is to remind people of the importance of not getting into unmarked vehicles. Promotional material will be available throughout the city.
“We are delighted that Nottingham has secured Purple Flag status for a sixth consecutive year,” said Neil Fincham, 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 Jobs, Growth and Transport, said: “We are really pleased that Nottingham has retained its Purple Flag status. This is a real recognition of the excellent partnership working between the City Council, the BID, the Police, Community Protection and CDP. Nottingham has a fantastic night-time offer and this recognises that we have a safe and welcoming city centre for people of all ages.”
Chief Inspector Mark Stanley said: “We have been working hard to ensure that the city is clean and safe and enjoyable for residents, students and visitors. It is through our dedicated partnership working that the city retains its Purple Flag status.”
“We are always looking at ways of improving the city offering to citizens and the new safer taxi scheme is just one example.”
Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, said: “I wholeheartedly support Purple Flag Weekend and the message that it sends out to visitors as well as those who live, work and study in the county that Nottinghamshire is a safe and enjoyable entertainment destination. A multitude of organisations are working together to lessen the impact of irresponsible drinking on the health service, public safety and individuals and their families while also protecting the prosperity of the night-time economy and we are already reaping the rewards, with Purple Flag accreditation just one example.
“The vast majority of people who frequent our vibrant nightlife do so safely and sensibly. It is reassuring to know that our licensed venues are working together to prevent drink-related crime through a mutually agreeable code of standards.”
“The award is not just about safety but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer,” said Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the Association of Town and City Centre Management (ATCM), who run the Purple Flag programme. “This can only be achieved by people working together and we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”