Chester city centre has been awarded ‘Purple Flag’ status.
As part of a 12-month campaign led by Chester BID, assessors firsts visited Chester in 2017 to evaluate the city centre against a series of core themes, including well being, movement, broad appeal and destination.
Chester passed with flying colours, with judges describing it as a “clean, welcoming and vibrant city with an abundance of evidence of its historic past”, whilst also recognising the “diverse range of options for families, young people and adults available during the day and night time economy.”
The campaign for Purple Flag status was driven by Chester BID, Chester’s Business Improvement District, in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council and other organisations, including Cheshire Police, Chester Pubwatch, the University of Chester, and several third sector groups.
Chester was one of only two places to receive a new Purple Flag accreditation, with Southport also being granted the award for the first time.
Established in 2012, the Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) and is similar to the Blue Flag award for beaches, but instead aims to raise standards and broaden the appeal of night time and evening economies within towns and city centres across the UK.
In the official report, Purple Flag assessors highlighted the positive impact of Storyhouse, commenting on “the range of facilities it provides for visitors, including theatre, cinema, art and library facilities available for all ages to enjoy.”
There was additional praise for safety standards across the city, with assessors noting that “visible policing was present throughout the assessment, including officers on foot patrol and in police vehicles”.
The Chester Pubwatch scheme operating in the city centre was also commended in the report, as was the ongoing work of the Chester Street Pastors team.
There are around 70 towns and cities in the UK that have been awarded Purple Flag status by the ATCM, which works alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses. Chester successfully retained Purple Flag status in 2021, with Cheshire West and Chester Council funding an additional 75 co-sign radios and Chester Against Business Crime supplying co-sign radios to an existing network of 150 businesses as part of the Purple Flag Working Group.
For more information, visit www.atcm.org.