Two years after their success in becoming the first city and town to be awarded the international Evening and Night-time award Purple Flag, Ennis town centre and Dublin Creative Quarter and Dame Street District have successfully renewed their accreditation status. The flag has since been awarded to 8 other Irish centres with a milestone of 10 Irish Purple Flags having been reached in February of this year.
The feedback from the assessors was overwhelmingly positive with Ennis receiving a special commendation for its Evening and Night-time. In their report the independent assessors stated: ‘The political commitment was outstanding and is the difference between a good town and an excellent town.’ And that ‘The quality and sincerity of partnership working was self-evident and will allow the town to travel a great distance.’ It further recognised the commitment to the award by ‘Embedding the Purple Flag into the Local Development Plan is a stroke of genius and a first!’
Mayor Pat Daly congratulated the Ennis Purple Flag Working Group led by chairman Johnny Flynn on their continued success: “It is a great credit to Ennis and its collaboration of stakeholders from Gardai, Council, Vintners and many more to emerge successful again in achieving this international award in particular in light of Ennis having pioneered this accreditation in Ireland and having now been followed by eight other towns including Galway, Killarney, Westport and Waterford.”
Cllr. Johnny Flynn said: “I would like to thank all the members of our working group who are committed to improving the appeal of Ennis in the evening and night time for users of the town. In order to retain the Purple Flag we all in Ennis must continue our work on an every-day basis with all evening and night-time businesses in order to further develop entertainment , food and hospitality offering in Ennis. We must look at protocols to avoid potential issues like glass on the streets, improved signage & lighting of lanes , etc. The independent assessors were impressed with future potential of the Covered Market project which they consider could have possibilities for in the evening time use after 5pm.”
Following on from the milestone achievement of 10 Irish Purple Flags acknowledging excellence in the evening and night-time economy, the current flag holders have recently met together and formed a network of towns the ‘Irish Purple Flags Network’. Carmen Cronin, Purple Flag Ireland Manager said: “While it has been agreed that we will initially remain an informal group, the goals of the new network are clearly on information sharing and support of each other. The focus of the Irish Purple Flag towns network on Best Practice in the evening and night-time in the areas of Wellbeing, Movement, Vibrancy and Partnership.” Alec Fleming, Interim CEO of Ennis chamber who joined the first meeting in Dublin recently said: “The new towns network offers great opportunity for all members and Ennis can learn and share much in this setting for both night-time and day-time development of the town.”
Two new centres received Purple Flag status at a recent Purple Flag awards ceremony. Armagh and Kettering are the newest town centres to achieve this status; with the Purple Flag now hoisted over more than 65 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland. Both centres were recognised for the outstanding services on offer contributing to a diverse and vibrant night-time economy.
Philip Kolvin QC, Chairman of the Purple Flag Board said, “The continual expansion of the Purple Flag initiative is a recognition of the important challenge to create a balanced, safe and vibrant night time offering. Each town/city demonstrates how organisations working together with the public produces positive, innovative outcomes for the night time economy. With over 65 Purple Flag centres now across the UK and Ireland, it is inspiring to witness the ongoing diversity of efforts from all accredited towns; old and new alike.”
All successful Purple Flag towns and cities have demonstrated a commitment to looking after customers, stakeholders and infrastructure. Towns awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant mix of entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents. Purple Flag destinations display excellence in Evening and Night-time by being vibrant and well-managed.
About Purple Flag
The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust Night Vision report in 2006, and is now run by the Association of Town and City Management, (ATCM) in London. Purple Flag is an international accreditation scheme for town and city centres in the evening and at night. It is the “gold standard” for night time destinations. Like Blue Flag for beaches, places that meet the standards can fly the flag. Over 60 town and city centres have been awarded Purple Flags since the scheme was launched by ATCM in October 2009; the first places in the Republic of Ireland to achieve the standard in 2013 were Dublin and Ennis and the total number has since risen to ten Irish flag holders. The scheme is managed by not-for-profit organisation, the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) who is working in Ireland through an Ireland-based Manager. Purple Flag accredited towns and cities have proven that they are welcoming to everyone, offer safe ways for visitors to travel home after dark and provide a good mix of venues. Purple Flag towns and cities benefit from more visitors, lower crime and anti-social behaviour and improved perceptions of centres.
To find out more about Purple Flag, please visit: https://www.atcm.org/programmes/purple_flag/WelcometoPurpleFlag
About Association of Town and City Management (ATCM)
ATCM has a membership that spans the private, public and third sectors. As the largest organisation of its kind in Europe, ATCM has over the past two decades evolved into an influential voice for the town and city management community, and as a widely respected authority on policy, innovator of research, and best practice example of partnership working and cross sector engagement.
A not-for profit, mutual organisation, owned by its members, ATCM focusses on the creation, development, and management of vibrant and viable town and city centres.
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Carmen Cronin Sarah Walker
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Purple Flag Ireland, ATCM ATCM