The recent easing of COVID restrictions and the reopening of hospitality venues across the UK has coincided with the news that Cheltenham has again retained Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy, for a fifth consecutive year.
Purple Flag is a national 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 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.
Purple Flag accreditation is an annual award and having successfully applied for accreditation for the first time in 2016, Cheltenham has had to demonstrate a continuing commitment to developing and maintaining a safe evening and night-time economy (ENTE) which appeals to all.
This year’s application would normally have been followed up by a visit from external assessors however due to the pandemic and the closure of most of the hospitality sector the application was externally assessed on submitted evidence and interviews with relevant officers and partner organisations.
The focus of assessors this year was on retaining safety standards within the hospitality sector especially during recovery from lockdown.
In their written feedback, the award adjudication panel made very positive comments about the work of stakeholders, including proactive policing and licensing actions taken through the various COVID 19 stages, looking to continue through the current restart process.
Overall, the assessors rated the work around wellbeing and public safety as excellent/outstanding.
Colin Pilsworth, night-time economy coordinator for Cheltenham Borough Council and coordinator for Purple Flag in Cheltenham, said: ‘‘Cheltenham is a brilliant place for nights out and clubbing, and quality night spots have made a fantastic contribution to our local economy over time. But they’ve been hit hard by the pandemic.
We’re completely focussed on recovery from Covid so this Purple Flag award couldn’t come at a better time. It’s great that Cheltenham has been awarded Purple Flag status for the fifth year running and a huge thanks goes to all involved.
“We will continue to work hard to retain our Purple Flag and make sure that as we deliver recovery, nights out in Cheltenham continue to be safe, entertaining, diverse and above all fun.”