Sheffield remains one of the safest places to enjoy a night out for people of all ages – after being awarded a purple flag for the seventh successive year.
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.
The flag, which will remain pride of place in the city’s Peace Gardens for another year, shows that the city remains one of the country’s safest.
Sheffield City Council is continuing to work with partners such as South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield BID after a number of isolated incidents over Christmas, and said the award should re-assure people that the city remains a safe place to live, work and party in.
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: “It’s great to see Sheffield once again receiving this award, and our night-time entertainment offer being recognised on a national level.
“With our varied selection of bars and restaurants, as well as a thriving theatre district and huge array of cultural attractions, we in Sheffield really are leading the way when it comes to providing an eclectic mix of places to eat, drink, relax and have fun.
“Sheffield is now a much more vibrant place after 5pm thanks to Sheffield BID’s Alive After Five campaign. We were all shocked by the incidents over Christmas and are working closely with partners to ensure that we can hoist the Purple Flag for many years to come.”
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.
In Sheffield the partners involved in the work include Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID), South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, U-Night and Sheffield City Centre Retailers Group.
Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID manager, said: “Making Sheffield city centre a safer place for people to eat, drink, shop, and enjoy themselves in the evening is a one of Sheffield BID’s core objectives, and it is fantastic that the city continues to be recognised by Purple Flag.
“Since 2016, our Alive After 5 campaign has boosted Sheffield’s early evening economy, making the city centre a much livelier place to be in the evening. Our investment in a city centre police sergeant’s post, provision of body worn cameras to the city centre’s bars and restaurants, and the work of our BID-funded Ambassadors, who work extended evening shifts on the weekend, help to keep those enjoying Sheffield’s night time economy safe.
“Most importantly, our local businesses work incredibly hard to make Sheffield one of the safest cities for a night out. It’s great to see that hard work being recognised year on year through Purple Flag.”
Superintendent Paul McCurry from South Yorkshire Police added: “We work closely with Sheffield BID, Sheffield Council and our licensed premises across Sheffield to keep the city safe and to ensure that all those who visit Sheffield can enjoy its diverse nightlife and culture without issue.
“In recent weeks, we have seen a number of concerning incidents in the city centre at our licensed premises but it is testament to the excellent partnership working between police, Sheffield BID and licensed premises that we were able to address these issues quickly, enforcing closure notices while discussions take place to improve public safety measures.
“Retaining the Purple Flag status is a significant achievement for all those involved in this process and a great deal of work happens behind the scenes to gain this accreditation, so I want to thank everyone who has supported, and continues to support, this initiative.”