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East Midlands Chamber News

City's Purple Patch Continues

Purple patch for Nottingham nightlifeNottingham nightlife is enjoying a purple patch.

The city has successfully retained its Purple Flag status – the national accreditation that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night.

It marked the occasion by flying a purple flag over the Council House and Nottingham Castle throughout Purple Flag Week (21-29 September).

The flag is being flown to in honour of the various organisations which work together to help keep the city's streets safe, including the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police.

A national switch on of purple lights across the country took place on Saturday night and both the Council House and Castle were lit up in purple as part of this and will remain lit up in purple at night during this week.

There are also various promotional activities taking place to mark the city retaining its Purple Flag status for a fourth consecutive year.

These include purple balloons handed out in the city centre and a competition giving people the chance to win lots of lovely purple goodies by visiting the BID's website.

A range of different initiatives and measures have been implemented to enable Nottingham to gain Purple Flag accreditation for a fourth consecutive year and key to the success has been the effective partnerships and working relationships that have been developed between the different organisations that operate in the city centre.

A City Task Force consisting of various public and private sector partners has been set up to monitor the facilities and services provided to visitors and residents to ensure that a strategic approach is taken to city centre management.

On a practical level in order to encourage people into town at night, there have been improvements in the quality and provision of car parking with the cost of on-street parking in the evening reduced and late night buses now running.

In addition the Lace Market, Trinity Square and Curzon Street Car Park has gained the Park Mark Safer Parking Award which recognises good management, effective surveillance, appropriate lighting, low crime rates and a clean environment.

“It is great news that Nottingham has retained its Purple Flag status and it’s important that people know about it,” said Neil Fincham, director of the Nottingham BID and chair of the BID’s Place Management Advisory Group.

“It is an important accreditation for the city with Nottingham being just one of only 20 locations around the country to have it. It is a clear indication that Nottingham is a great city for a night out for everyone - families, people young and old and students alike, with a fantastic selection of bars, restaurants and clubs as well as theatres, cinemas and live music venues. It is also a sign that it is safe, clean and welcoming environment.”

Cllr Nick McDonald, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Jobs and Growth, said: “It’s great to see Nottingham retain its Purple Flag status for another year, seeing the city recognised once more for being a safe and enjoyable place to have a night out.

“This is important recognition of how welcoming, clean and well-managed our city is. Anything that encourages people to come and see first-hand what a great place Nottingham is to visit for a night out is a welcome boost to our night time economy in the city centre.”

Chief Inspector Shaun Ostle, Head of Nottingham City Centre for Community Protection, said: “The way that the police & council work together to tackle crime, anti-social behaviour and environmental crime in Nottingham is seen as national best practice and our teams have worked incredibly hard to ensure that we retain this accolade for the fourth year running.”

Baroness Newlove, the Government’s Champion for Activ Safter Communities and Victims’ Commissioner who has become the Purple Flag Week Champion for 2013 said: “I believe the scheme is making a positive impact, helping to create better, safer nights out for everyone and, in tackling issues such as crime and anti-social behaviour, is helping to turn around the perceptions of the night time economies of many of our towns and city centres.”