Newcastle town centre continues to be a safe, diverse and vibrant place to visit at night, a prestigious accreditation scheme has reaffirmed.
It has been granted Purple Flag status by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) for the fourth consecutive year.
The scheme assesses the early evening and night-time offer in town and city centres across the country. Factors include the quality of bars, clubs, restaurants, cultural attractions and public buildings as well as partnerships, safety, public transport, strategy and leadership. It is similar to the Green Flag award for parks.
Reported benefits of the accreditation include increased footfall, inward commercial investment, lower crime and anti-social behaviour and improved public perceptions.
It is recognition for Newcastle Borough Council, Newcastle Business Improvement District (BID), Newcastle Partnership Against Business Crime, Staffordshire Police and other partners who work closely together to ensure the town is well organised at night.
Cllr. Jill Waring, Cabinet member for community safety and well-being, said: “It’s excellent news that Newcastle town centre has once again achieved this national gold standard. It’s confirmation that all the elements remain in place to offer a good experience for different groups of people, not just for those drinking alcohol.
“Just like the Green Flags in many of our parks are a visible indicator of their quality, the Purple Flag reassures visitors that the night-time economy is managed to a high standard which means they can expect an enjoyable night out. This latest award is testament to the hard work and commitment of the Council, its partners and businesses to continually improve what the town centre has to offer. We will now look to build on what has already been achieved.”
The assessor highlighted “well developed” multi-agency co-operation, the development of public artwork and the refurbishment of Red Lion Square to improve pedestrian connectivity as particular achievements.
Amy Williams, Newcastle BID Manager, said: “We are delighted that the Purple Flag status has been renewed for a further 12 months and we are very proud to have been part of the process. Being awarded this important status is a testament to the enjoyable, diverse and unique offer that Newcastle has for early evening and night time economy.
“The result comes from great partnership working between the BID, the Council, Staffordshire Police and other agencies and we look forward to another 12 months of promoting the Purple Flag scheme and Newcastle’s night time economy.”
Inspector Peter Owen, LPT Commander for Newcastle, added: “It is pleasing to note that Newcastle has again been awarded Purple Flag accreditation. The award reflects the hard work of everyone involved in making Newcastle a safe and pleasant town centre to visit both in the evening and night time.
“I am sure that those organisations involved in the development of the town centre will continue to work towards improving the facilities further and retaining this prestigious award.”