Southport has been awarded Purple Flag accreditation after a lengthy campaign co-ordinated Southport Business Improvement District (BID) working in partnership with Merseyside Police, Sefton Council, Pubwatch, Light for Life, and the Street Pastors.
The Purple Flag standard, launched in 2007, is an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. It allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.
The assessment criteria considered a number of factors including cleanliness and safety, movement and transport, the range of attractions, entertainment and events, high quality environment and evidence of strong partnership working. Hugh Evans, Southport BID says: “The Award recognises the hard work done by everyone involved in supporting and improving Southport’s evening and night-time economy. Towns and cities achieving this status 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”.
Inspector Graham Fisher, Merseyside Police, said: “Merseyside Police are delighted that Southport has been awarded Purple Flag status. We work closely with partners to deliver a comprehensive and proactive plan for policing the night time economy in Southport and securing Purple Flag is a great endorsement of this work”.
Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “Gaining the Purple Flag status is yet another feather in Southport’s cap and is a great example of partnership working to make this happen.
“Obtaining a Purple Flag shows that Southport’s night-time economy offers clean and safe environments and through this we believe it will attract more visitors and businesses to our wonderful town.”
Susannah Porter, Chair of Pubwatch, said: “The members of Southport Pubwatch are proud to have been involved in this process and are not surprised the town was successful. All of our members run safe, well managed premises and it’s great to have it recognised by the assessors for this national award.”
Elizabeth Wallbank, Southport Street Pastors, said: “’Southport Street Pastors are delighted to hear the news that the application to achieve Purple Flag status for the town centre has been successful. This is an amazing example of many groups and organisations working together to provide a safe environment in our town”.
Greta Fenny, Light for Life, says: “Light for life is delighted that the BID and agencies in Southport are working well together to ensure the safety and experience of visitors, residents and those with specific vulnerabilities. It’s a great achievement”.
There are around 70 towns currently accredited to the standard across the UK and Ireland.
The Award was formally conferred on the town at a ceremony in Chester on Thursday 15th February.