10 January 2017

After becoming the first Yorkshire city to gain Purple Flag status back in 2013, city leaders are celebrating today (Tuesday 10 January) after learning Sheffield has retained the prestigious status for its evening and night-time economy.

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

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “With its huge selection of bars and restaurants, as well as a thriving theatre district and impressive array of cultural attractions, we know Sheffield is a great place for a night out. However, it is fantastic to see this recognised on a national level.

“We are leading the way when it comes to providing such an eclectic mix of places to eat, drink, relax and have fun, with so many quirky and independent places to go as well as the large chains.

“I hope that Sheffield city centre will continue to go from strength to strength, with the imminent opening of the new Light leisure and entertainment complex and the creation of the New Retail Quarter which is now underway.”

Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to more than 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland.

The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain.

Shanaaz Carroll, chief executive of the ATCM said: “The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer. This can only be achieved by people working together and across the country we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”

Sheffield will officially receive the Purple Flag new accreditation at an awards ceremony on 8 February in Carrick-on-Shannon, Ireland.

The after dark economy is worth more than £66bn annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5 per cent of the UK workforce and significantly contributing to local economies.

Other towns and cities with Purple Flag status in Yorkshire are Halifax, Hull and Leeds.

Sergeant Matthew Burdett, lead for the Sheffield Purple Flag accreditation, said: “This is great news once again for Sheffield and a big thank you to everyone who has supported the process for gaining it once again.

“A lot of hard work takes place behind the scenes to gain the status, but it is excellent to see that the work all Sheffield partners do to make the city a vibrant and safe place is recognised.