Cheltenham is a Purple Flag town

Purple flag flying outside the muni

In 2016 Cheltenham was first awarded Purple Flag status by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) in recognition of its excellent evening and night time economy. The award has been successfully maintained each year since then.

What is Purple Flag?

Purple Flag is a prestigious town and city centre award – similar to Blue Flags that are presented to outstanding beaches and Green Flags for excellent parks. Through the Purple Flag scheme, the ATCM aims to recognise and highlight towns and cities that are committed to raising standards and broadening their appeal, specifically between the hours of 5pm and 5am. 

The award recognises centres that have a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment, leisure and cultural offers available, while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.

Cheltenham’s Purple Flag status is supported by a working group made up of representatives from the local licensed trade, Cheltenham Borough Council, the voluntary sector, the police, Cheltenham Business Improvement District (BID), the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the University of Gloucestershire Students' Union.

Purple Flag accreditation is renewable annually and in their written feedback on their most recent assessment (which took place in December 2018), the ATCM Purple Flag adjudication panel reported a very positive perception of the town and noted:

  • The regency architecture, parks, gardens and pedestrianised areas make the town attractive to visitors, with floodlighting of public and privately owned buildings at night
  • A fantastic mix of venues for a town of this size, suitable for all ages and  tastes
  • A wide range of eating venues and a commitment to good food existing  throughout the town
  • Streets were well-lit and very appealing to walkers and people on their own
  • General level of street cleaning  was very good
  • A strong sense of community and business partnership anchored throughout  the night-time economy

In addition  the panel noted the excellent, strong partnership working between all agencies (statutory and voluntary), including  the police and the borough council, and the street pastors with their safe space (known as the stable) which provides a drop-in location for vulnerable people in a safe and mutual environment.  The town was assessed as excellent/outstanding for its broad appeal - an evening and late night offer that is broader than youth oriented and alcohol-based activity.

Cheltenham has also been nominated for a new Purple Flag award to find the UK and Ireland’s best night-time economy. The Purple Flag accreditation uses five main core agenda themes; wellbeing, movement, appeal, place and policy. Cheltenham has been nominated under the ‘appeal’ category and will find out if it has been successful at an awards ceremony later this year in June 2019.

What happens next?

Since being awarded Purple Flag status we have developed a website, funded through the Late Night Levy, to promote our evening and night time economy and its Purple Flag status (www.cheltenhamnightout.co.uk). The website provides a one-stop resource for visitors with information about Purple Flag, transport and public safety as well as listings for all licensed premises and restaurants within the Purple Flag area.

Contact: Colin Pilsworth - colin.pilsworth@cheltenham.gov.uk