Bristol awarded prestigious Purple Flag accreditation

November 7, 2023

Bristol’s night-time economy celebrates receiving the coveted Purple Flag award in 2022, marking the 12th year in a row the city has been recognised for this accolade.

Purple Flag is an international accreditation awarded to cities that surpass excellence in managing their evening and night-time economies. Similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, Purple Flag aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 6pm and 6am.

The annual Purple Flag award, overseen by the National Association of Town Centre Management, assesses qualities such as safety, diversity, vibrancy, accessibility, cleanliness and partnership working. It gives positive reassurance to those planning a night out in the city.

Bristol City Council and Bristol City Centre BID worked in partnership to manage the accreditation process through a comprehensive set of standards, ensuring that different aspects of the city’s offering were presented to the judges. Bristol was recognised for its vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture on offer while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.

City partners that help manage the night-time economy include Bristol City Centre BID, Bristol Nights, Bristol Waste, Night Watch and Avon and Somerset Police.

Highlights from Bristol’s submission include:

  • streamlined working of the Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) which has enhanced their services to deliver them city-wide, including safety and cleansing projects
  • encouraging COVID-safe behaviours to increase public confidence
  • supporting businesses through the promotion of national programmes and the City Centre and High Streets Recovery and Renewal programme
  • promoting safety at night through awareness and communication campaigns including specific projects relating to drink spiking, water safety and anti-sexual harassment
  • a dedicated taxi cop, to help ensure a safe service is provided to night-time economy users

Councillor Craig Cheney, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Finance, Governance and Performance, said:

“Receiving this award is a great accolade to Bristol and the hard work of the council and partners across the city. Promoting a vibrant and safe nightlife is important for celebrating Bristol’s international reputation and for our independent restaurants, venues, bars and clubs who are at the heart of Bristol’s culture.”

Carly Heath, Bristol’s Night-Time Economy Advisor, said:

“Bristol’s nightlife consistently excels on the national and international stage. Bristol was one of the first cities in the UK to be awarded Purple Flag status in 2010. Receiving the award again this year comes in recognition of our continued work towards a more vibrant, welcoming, diverse and safer nightlife, and our work on campaigns including Where’s it to?, Bristol rules and Stop spiking.

We have strived to make the city’s night-time economy stronger, safer, more inclusive and better connected for residents and visitors coming to the city for a great night out.”

Vicky Lee, Head of Bristol City Centre BID, said:

“Achieving the Purple Flag recognition is a huge benefit for businesses and the city. It attracts people to visit, study, work and live here and has a positive impact on our night-time economy. Over the last year, we have worked closely with Bristol City Council and night-time economy partners to ensure that our work supports and promotes the city, encouraging people to spend leisure time and enjoy everything Bristol has to offer.”