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Chester will be flying the Purple Flag in 2024

Chester has retained the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy.

Chester Town Hall, The Eastgate Clock and Newgate will be lit purple this week (12 to 18 February). The city first achieved Purple Flag status in 2018.

Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents.

Highlights from Chester’s submission included good evidence of customer care, a unique feel and character through the historic buildings, and effective and engaging partnership work. The assessors visited Chester, meeting in Storyhouse. They were given a safety tour of Rosies and also looked around the new Chester Market.

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust’s “Night Vision” report in 2006 and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management.

Councillor Christine Warner, Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Safer Communities said:

“The continued success in maintaining Chester’s Purple Flag is thanks to the many city centre partners working together to ensure Chester remains safe and welcoming.

“Chester welcomed over 16.5 million visitors over the past twelve months a steady increase compared to 2022. Footfall across the whole country is still slowly recovering from the pandemic, however thanks to the huge popularity of the new attractions at Northgate there was an 11.5 per cent increase in footfall in December compared with 2019 figures thanks to Storyhouse, the new Chester market, Picturehouse and the Christmas market.

“We will be celebrating the Purple Flag this week by lighting the Eastgate Clock, Town Hall and Newgate purple.”

Luka Morrell, Business Engagement Manager, Chester BID said:

“We’re so pleased to once again achieve the Purple Flag Accreditation. We know how hard our BID businesses work to help create a safe, welcoming environment that is Chester's nighttime economy, and it's great to see it get recognised on a national level.

“I’d like to thank Jenni at the Boot Inn for hosting the monthly Purple Flag meetings, Jenni is also chair of Chester Pubwatch who help to achieve a safe, secure and responsibly led social drinking environment in all licensed premises.”

Keeping the city safe is a partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Chester BID, Cheshire Police, Chester Against Business Crime, Pubwatch, the University of Chester, Chester Residents' Associations Group, and several third sector groups.

The ‘after dark’ economy is worth over £66bn (TBR MAKE Night-Time Economy Index 2009) annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5% of the UK workforce (TBR MAKE Night-Time Economy Index 2010), and significantly contributing to local economies.

About Purple Flag

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust’s “Night Vision” report in 2006 and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management.

Purple Flag is:

  • An accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.
  • A comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples designed to help transform town and city centres at night.
  • A research, training and development programme, to help towns and cities improve their evening and night-time economy.
  • A positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

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