Purple Flag Week, a concept derived in Nottingham, is set to be rolled out nationwide.
The event originally took place last September and was designed to celebrate Nottingham’s retained Purple Flag status, an accreditation from the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) recognising the city as a varied, safe and clean place for a night out.
Spanning five days, Purple Flag Week saw key buildings, including the Council House, illuminated in purple and special offers at bars and restaurants. A ‘Purple Carpet’ screening of local film making talent also took place at The Broadway, and over 150 people took part in a Twilight Walk around the city centre.
The ATCM was so impressed with the atmosphere that the event created that they decided to make it a national celebration and invite other cities and towns with Purple Flag status to follow Nottingham’s lead. 25 locations, including Bristol, Liverpool and Belfast will now hold their own Purple Flag Week between 22 and 30 September.
As the city where it all started, Nottingham has been invited to host the official launch event. This will see representatives from other cities and towns, as well as members of the ATCM and local dignitaries, attending a special reception at the Council House on 21 September. The focal point of the day will be the release of 250 purple balloons in the city centre. Each will contain a unique offer for a venue in the city, whilst a limited number will entitle whoever finds one to a VIP trip to a Purple Flag location.
Nottingham’s Purple Flag success is down to a collaborative effort between We Are Nottingham Leisure, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham Businesses Against Crime and the Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership Team, as well as other city centre partners.
Sylvia Oates, chief executive of We Are Nottingham Leisure, the Business Improvement District (BID) for licensed premises in the city centre, is delighted that Nottingham has been able to inspire others:
“Our Purple Flag Week in 2011 was a great success and helped to show everything that makes Nottingham such a vibrant place to spend an evening. The fact that other places can now take the idea and use it to unite their own cities is fantastic.
“We’ve been working closely with the ATCM as consultants on Purple Flag Week and we look forward to welcoming everyone involved to Nottingham to get the celebrations underway.
“Our balloon launch will be a fantastic way to get things started. We’re talking to some very special names to help us with this and we’ll hopefully be in a position to make an announcement soon.”
Philip Kolvin QC, Chairman of the Purple Flag Board, commented,
“Purple Flag Week is a fantastic way to showcase the best that our towns and cities have to offer and the important role that the evening economy plays in our local communities.
“Nottingham, along with thirty other towns and cities across the country, have already been awarded a Purple Flag accreditation and we hope that the events taking place up and down the land will encourage many other centres to get involved.
“With the support of Government, the police, local businesses and our sponsors Diageo Great Britain, Purple Flag is effectively challenging the negative perceptions of our urban areas at night time and is helping us all to celebrate the quality, diversity and vibrancy on offer in our towns and cities.”
News of the Purple Flag Week rollout follows the announcement that Nottingham has been successful in retaining Purple Flag status for the third year running.
Commenting on this, Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Nottingham City Council said:
“Nottingham’s Purple Flag status means the city is recognised for being a safe and enjoyable place to have a night out. The flag is really a hallmark for how our night time economy is operated.
“Through partnership working, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police, among others, will continue to complete works around how cleanliness and safety can be improved in the future – building on our current successful recognition.”