Published on January 23rd, 2017 | by Niall Norbury1
Reading’s nightlife receives Purple Flag status
Reading has achieved the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy in the town centre.
Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Green Flag for parks and green spaces – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between 5pm and 5am.
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 local residents.
The submission for Purple Flag status was led by Reading Business Improvement District (BID) along with key stakeholders including Reading Borough Council, Thames Valley Police, Street Pastors, Pub Watch and the University of Reading and was followed up by a 12 hour all night visit by an inspection team in the run up to Christmas.
Graham Mountford, Chair of Reading BID, said: “Reading town centre’s night-time businesses play an important role in Reading’s economic success. Obtaining Purple Flag accreditation for the excellence of the management of these businesses and the surrounding town centre environment has been a key objective for the current Business Improvement District and I am delighted that Reading’s night-time economy has been recognised as a vibrant, safe, welcoming and well-managed place.”
Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the ENTE. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside – a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain.
Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the ATCM said: “There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation. The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer — this can only be achieved by people working together and across the country we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”