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Iceni Magazine | July 17, 2018

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Paint the town Purple as Norwich secures prestigious Purple Flag status

Norwich secures prestigious Purple Flag status

It’s official, Norwich has been recognised as a beacon of excellence in how the city centre manages the evening and night time economy.

Receiving a national accolade, Norwich has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag status, which is a positive indication of an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out in the city.

To secure the award, Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) worked with key partners; Norwich City Council, Norfolk Constabulary, licensed premises and other organisations to help tackle many of the effects of the city centres night-time economy on residents, businesses and visitors.  Businesses that trade in the evening and night-time economy have established a ‘Late Night Norwich’ scheme. This important trade led initiative has created excellent working relationships across the leisure sector and has resulted in a significant impact on safety and wellbeing in the city.

Stefan Gurney, Executive Director, Norwich BID said, “Norwich BID has continued to work tirelessly to improve the city centre offer with the businesses and partners to ensure we are recognised as national leader. The Purple Flag award reflects the hard work and dedication that all the partners have put in to make the city an amazing place to live, work and play.”

Sarah Walker, Purple Flag Co-Ordinator said, “There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation. 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 in a strong partnership to which we are seeing strong examples off this across the country”.

The Evening and Nighttime Economy in Norwich is vibrant, diverse and welcoming – becoming a popular destination due to its extensive events programme. Within Norwich’s Purple Flag area there are 347 licensed premises which add to the city’s cultural scene.  The variety and number of venues and events range from live music and festivals at large venues such as The Open, to literary readings and artwork showcases based in some of the city’s more intimate locations

Norwich is home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year, including; City of Ale, Norwich Fashion Week, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, and the Norwich Food and Drink Festival to name just a few.  This diverse events calendar continues to grow year on year, keeping people in the city and encouraging them to take advantage of the evening and late-night time offer.

Similarly, Norwich BIDs Head Out, Not Home free summer events initiative has been successful in encouraging individuals to spend more time in the city centre during the early evening period. This 10 week programme offers a range of entertainment including Covent Garden street performers and live music from local bands and artists, which help bring a sense of community to the proceedings and celebrate the cultural life of the city.

These events have been successful in attracting significant footfall to outside spaces, arts venues, food outlets and pubs and bars from early evening to late night. This increase in visitors has resulted in overall footfall levels that outperform against the National average.

Andy Gotts, Chair of Late Night Norwich said, “This is amazing, and is a reflection of so much hard work from everybody who works in the late-night economy to care for and value our customers”.

Norfolk Constabulary is unique in having a dedicated ‘night-time public order policing presence’ providing ‘shift’ Officers from 9pm to 5am each Friday and Saturday all year round.  This has contributed to a significant reduction, from what were already relatively low numbers, of recorded crimes often associated with Night Time Economy. 

The work of Norwich Street Outreach (such as Safe Haven, Street Presence, The Norfolk Street Partnership and the SOS Bus) make a positive contribution to the Norwich nightlife and further reinforce the sense of community that exists within the city.



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