Cheltenham retains the Purple Flag for its evening and night-time economy

Published on 24th January 2018

Purple flag flying outside the muni

Cheltenham has just learnt that it has successfully retained its Purple Flag – awarded in recognition of an evening and night-time economy which is appealing, welcoming and safe.

Purple Flag is a national town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm and 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.

Purple Flag accreditation is an annual award and having successfully applied for accreditation for the first time in 2016, Cheltenham had to demonstrate a continuing commitment to developing and maintaining a safe evening and night-time economy (ENTE) which appeals to all.

The feedback from the assessment panel noted the considerable building and refurbishment works in the town centre with likely positive impacts for the ENTE, the influence and support of the Cheltenham Business Improvement District, ongoing work on reducing drunkenness at race meetings and falling levels of crime and disorder in the town during the evening and at night.

Cllr Andrew McKinlay, member for development and safety for Cheltenham Borough Council said: “This is welcome news. The retention of the town centre’s Purple Flag status confirms that Cheltenham is a great place to enjoy a safe night out.

“This award is a tribute to all those who work to ensure that Cheltenham has a safe and vibrant night time economy.”

Colin Pilsworth, night-time economy coordinator for Cheltenham Borough Council and coordinator for Purple Flag in Cheltenham commented: “We know that Cheltenham has a fantastic evening and night-time offer; not just the bars and clubs, it’s the variety of restaurants and eating places, leisure facilities, the arts and the cultural scene. A great deal of effort goes into making Cheltenham so vibrant, attractive and safe. This would not be possible without the commitment of statutory bodies; such as the Police and the Council, the licensed and hospitality trade, the University of Gloucestershire Students’ Union and voluntary groups such as the Street Pastors and Cheltenham Guardians.

“Retaining our Purple Flag status is recognition of the result of this effort and reflects the hard work of everyone associated with our evening and night-time economy”.  

For media enquiries: contact Jemima Lawson communications officer 01242 775 050 email

About Purple Flag

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust’s “Night Vision” report in 2006, and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management.

Purple Flag is:

  • An accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.
  • A comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples designed to help transform town and city centres at night.
  • A research, training and development programme, to help towns and cities improve their evening and night-time economy.
  • A positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.