Ennis is celebrating this week after learning it has retained the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE). Purple Flag is a town and city centre award which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres in the ENTE between the hours of 5pm to 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.
Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. On the Island of Ireland at present 18 destinations are holding Purple Flag status and a further 4 are in the process of applying. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime & ASB within the ENTE. 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.
Ennis was the first town in Ireland to attain Purple Flag status and has retained its status year on year. In the report on this interim renewal the judges cited the positive work being done on the profile of Purple Flag as well as the diversity of the working group comprising of local authority, Gardai, Ennis Chamber and business people. The report also highlighted the positive aspect of the decreasing crime statistic for the 5pm to 5am period in Ennis. This is also reflected in the results of the perception survey which showed 69% of respondents feeling safe or very safe through all timeframes in Ennis. Commented on the retention of the Purple Flag for Ennis, committee member Brian O’Neill said “We are delighted to retain the Purple Flag for Ennis again this year. It is testament to the cooperation of the working group and all of the businesses in Ennis Town Centre who operate in the night-time economy. However there is more work to be completed to bolster the night-time economy for Ennis and that vision can be realised through town initiatives to enhance the town centre as an even more vibrant place to work, live, visit and enjoy.”
Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the ATCM said:
“There are now almost 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation. The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer — this can only be achieved by people working together and across the country we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”
New and renewal accreditations have been granted to Perth and Sutton Coldfield and a further three towns, Bristol, Derry-Londonderry and Enniskillen and will be awarded their flags on 30 June 2016 at the ATCM Summer School 25th Anniversary dinner and Purple Flag Awards in Croydon.
A further 11 areas also received an Interim renewal accreditation.