Leicester city centre has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE).
The award by the Association of Town and City Management (ACTM), recognizes the city as a vibrant destination for dining, entertainment and culture between the hours of 5pm and 5am, while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents.
The accreditation process has been led by a partnership of organisations including BID Leicester, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire Police and the Safer Leicester Partnership.
Together they steered Leicester through a rigorous application process to show how the city met five key standards, including demonstrating a strong multi-sector partnership managing the ENTE; being easy to move around and offering a safe journey home; having a diverse offer for the public; offering activities which encourage people to stay from day to evening; and being safe and welcoming, as well as delivering high standards of customer care.
The process also included an overnight assessment by the ACTM.
Simon Jenner, director of BID Leicester, said: “We are delighted that Leicester has achieved Purple Flag status, and particularly pleased that the city was judged to be outstanding in 25 of the 31 judging criteria.
“Achieving Purple Flag is just the beginning of our work on the evening and night-time economy. We will use this accreditation as a catalyst to improve and promote Leicester’s diverse night-time offer so we can continue to go from strength to strength.”
BID Leicester has committed to continued support of the night-time economy sector through several initiatives taking place this year.
Among them is a series of promotional videos to showcase the very best of Leicester at night and the establishment of a Best Bar None accreditation scheme and Restaurant Week event in the city – all of which aim to boost business flow.
In addition, business owners will be supported to train staff working in the evenings, and receive financial support to join Leicester’s City Watch scheme.
BID Leicester is also committed to improving the safety and wellbeing of customers at night. Financial support has already been given to Leicester’s Street Pastor scheme, and there are plans to fund a trained medical professional to work in the city.
The Safer Leicester Partnership is providing a City Bus in Leicester city centre on evenings when footfall is high to help safeguard members of the public.
As well as achieving Purple Flag status, the city has been praised for its strong partnership work and nominated as a finalist for the ACTM’s Policy Envelope Award at the Purple Flag Awards. The award recognizes places that show a clear strategy in managing the night-time economy, based on integrated public policy and multi-agency collaboration.
The Purple Flag criteria has been used to create a new action plan for the Night-Time Economy Strategic Group. Sarah Harrison, City Centre Director and chair of the group said: “Aligning the work of the group to the Purple Flag criteria supports the accreditation and will put the city in a strong position for future assessments.”
Inspector Adam Archer, Central Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Commander for Leicestershire Police, said: “We are pleased that the city has achieved Purple Flag and, in doing so, has highlighted our successful partnership approach to making Leicester a safe and vibrant place to be at night. The outstanding collaborative work carried out by key partners ensures that the business community can thrive and the public feel safe.”
Sam Hagger, BID Leicester Board member and Director of the Beautiful Pubs Collective – who operate three city centre venues – said, “This is great news for the city and for businesses who operate in the night-time. Purple Flag sends out a strong message that we have a safe and vibrant city centre, catering for thousands of people every week.”
Find out more about the Purple Flag accreditation and the initiatives BID Leicester are running to help support the evening night-time economy at bidleicester.co.uk/purpleflag