Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres overnight.
Places awarded the status are recognised for providing a vibrant mix of entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
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.
Liverpool, which first gained the Purple Flag in 2010, demonstrated again that it has a safe and well-managed night-time economy.
A team of assessors spent a night in the city centre in December checking out aspects of the city’s night time offer including bars, restaurants, shops, car parks, theatres, signage and public transport.
In conclusion, they:
- Rated as “outstanding” the city’s arts and culture, restaurants, pubs/bars and late night venues
- Praised the “wide and diverse” independent retailers, which they found are “thriving”
- Described public buildings as “imaginatively lit”
- Praised the partnership between the city council, Liverpool BID Company, Liverpool ONE and local residents
- Found that taxi provision was “well regulated”
They also praised policing as “proportionate”, concluded that door staff are “well-regulated” and described car parks as “reasonably priced, clean and secure”.
Councillor Liz Parsons, Mayoral Lead for Community Safety, said: “This is great news and sends out a strong message that we have a safe and vibrant city centre, catering for hundreds of thousands of people every week.
“There is a huge amount of hard work going in every single day from public agencies and private businesses to make sure people who choose to spend their hard earned money coming to Liverpool have the best possible time while they are here.
“The transformation of the city centre over the last few years is absolutely stunning and is reflected in the fact that the number of visitors, hotel beds, shops, restaurants and bars have all rocketed over the last decade.
“This year marks a decade since we were Capital of Culture, and the retention of Purple Flag status shows that everyone who plays a part in making the city centre a success is determined to keep on raising standards and not rest on our laurels.
“A lot of organisations as well as businesses are working together to achieve this and our night-time economy is going from strength to strength.”
Bill Addy, chief executive, Liverpool BID Company, said: “Maintaining Purple Flag status for an eighth consecutive year is fantastic news for the city, and credit must go to our BID levy payers – particularly our Evening and Night Time Economy (ENTE) businesses – whose main focus is always the safety and positive experience of its customers, visitors and employees.
“Improving street safety day and night for both businesses and visitors is a top priority of the Liverpool BID Company. That is why recently we introduced a raft of new initiatives to address the safety concerns of our BID levy payers. These included among others a new dedicated member of staff to provide a direct link to BID levy payers through our Radio Link to the city council’s already excellent City Watch programme, maximising the response time to incidents.
“In 2017 we also celebrated two years since launching our dedicated police team onto the city centre streets – fully funded by the BID as additional support to the great work already done by Merseyside Police. It is great to see that all these initiatives are making a positive impact on Liverpool, and that we are all working together effectively – both public and private sector stakeholders – in upholding our status as one of the safest cities in the country.
“Praise must also go to our thriving restaurant and independent retail scene on Castle Street and Bold Street respectively, both singled out in the report as outstanding.”
Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner, Councillor Emily Spurrell, said: “I’m delighted that Liverpool has retained its Purple Flag for the eighth year running. We know that the city is a great and safe place to come for a night out, so it is fantastic to see this once again recognised on a national level by a team of independent assessors.
“Merseyside Police works extensively with its partners to deliver a comprehensive and proactive plan for policing the night time economy to ensure it is a safe environment for people of all ages and interests to enjoy. Securing Purple Flag status once again is a fantastic endorsement of this work and further demonstration of the shared commitment across all the partners to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in the city centre for the benefit of all.”