Nottingham Launches National Purple Reign
The skies over Nottingham turned purple on Friday as the city officially launched national Purple Flag Week 2012.
Local Olympic and Paralympic heroes Helen Richardson and Richard Whitehead teamed up with children from Blue Bell Hill Primary School in St Ann’s to release 250 purple balloons in Trinity Square. The event marked the official start of a week of celebration across the country to recognise those towns and cities that have Purple Flag status, which is an accreditation awarded by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) recognising destinations that offer a varied, safe and clean night out.
Nottingham was invited to host the launch after holding the first ever Purple Flag Week in 2011; a concept that was deemed to be such a success that the ATCM decided to invite other places to follow Nottingham’s lead.
A packed programme of events, including night time markets, festivals and concerts, will now be held across the country until 30 September.
Following the launch of the balloons, which had prizes for venues across Nottingham and trips to other Purple Flag destinations attached to them, VIP guests attended a reception at the Council House. Guests included Helen, Olympic bronze medal winning vice-captain of Team GB women’s hockey team, and Richard, who won gold in the 200m T42 final at The Paralympics.
We Are Nottingham Leisure, the Business Improvement District (BID) for licensed premises in the city centre, was behind the event. Chairman David Lucas said:
“What a great way this was to kick-start a national celebration. As a city, we should be incredibly proud that we are helping to influence things on a national level and are considered to be setting the benchmark.
“Having Helen and Richard with us, as well as the children from Blue Bell Hill Primary School, added to the experience and I would like to extend my thanks to all involved for helping to create a memorable event.”
Philip Kolvin QC, Chairman of the Purple Flag Board, added:
“The launch event in Nottingham was a fantastic way to kick-off what is set to be an action-packed week of events across the UK to celebrate all that Purple Flag represents.
“This week will showcase the best that our towns and cities have to offer and the important role that the evening economy plays in our local communities. Working in partnership with Government, the police, local businesses and our sponsors Diageo Great Britain, Purple Flag is effectively challenging the negative perceptions of our urban areas at night time, and I hope that through the celebrations that will be taking place over the coming days, many more towns and cities will be motivated to join the 31 existing Purple Flag holders.”
Nottingham has achieved Purple Flag status for the past three years. This success is down to a collaborative effort between We Are Nottingham Leisure, Community Protection, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham Businesses Against Crime and the Nottingham Crime and Drugs Partnership Team, as well as other city centre partners.
Reflecting on this continued success and on the launch of Purple Flag Week, Councillor Alex Norris, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s great that we were one of the first places in the country to begin the Purple Flag celebrations. Community Protection works closely with a number of other partners throughout the year to make sure that Nottingham’s night time economy is as clean and safe as possible.”
For more information on the work of We Are Nottingham Leisure, visit www.wearenottingham.co.uk. Further details on the Purple Flag accreditation scheme can be found at www.purpleflag.org.uk .