Published on 30th January 2019

Purple flag award logo

Town is also shortlisted for award - we will find out later in the year if we have been successful.

Cheltenham is proud to have retained its Purple Flag status and the town has also been nominated for a special award.

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.

In their written feedback on the assessment (which took place in December 2018), the 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.

Councillor Andrew McKinlay, cabinet member for safety said: ‘’We are delighted that once again Cheltenham has been recognised for its safe and vibrant night time economy and my thanks goes to all partners involved.  This is a great demonstration of partnership working in action. The panel assessed the town as excellent for its broad appeal and further excellent news is that Cheltenham has also been nominated for a new Purple Flag award. We look forward to finding out later in the year if we’ve been successful.’’

Colin Pilsworth, night-time economy coordinator for the council and coordinator for Purple Flag in Cheltenham said: ‘‘I am thrilled that our town has again received recognition for the excellence of its evening and night-time economy. This has only been achieved  because of the commitment and ongoing support of statutory bodies such as the police and borough council, voluntary groups including the Street Pastors, Cheltenham Guardians and  the student community patrols, and the wider business community including the licensed trade and Cheltenham Business Improvement District.’’

For press enquiries, contact Katie Sandey, communications and web team leader, 01242 264231, [email protected]


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.


 Following an all-night assessment of the town by visiting independent assessors on a weekend in December 2018, Cheltenham successfully retained its Purple Flag – awarded in recognition of an evening and night-time economy which is appealing, welcoming and safe.

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.