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For the second year running Winchester has been awarded 'Purple Flag' status in recognition that it offers visitors a safe night out.
Just as a Blue Flag is an indicator of a good beach, a Purple Flag is an indicator of where to go for a good night out. The national scheme recognises that a town or city is managing its night time experience and overcoming any negative public perceptions that may exist. Winchester has achieved this status as it offers a first class night out for both residents and the city's four million visitors a year.
The Purple Flag scheme is led by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), alongside supporters including the Association of Chief Police Officers, Diageo, the Home Office, Local Government Regulation (LACORS) and many other high profile national bodies.
Winchester Business Improvement District, Winchester City Council (through its Town Forum Members), Winchester Community Safety Partnership, Winchester Pub Watch and Hampshire Constabulary were all involved in achieving Winchester's Purple Flag status.
Chris Turner, Executive Director at the Winchester BID, said, "We are pleased that the truly excellent evening economy of Winchester, with great restaurants, fine bars and a welcoming range of cultural venues is recognised nationally for the second year running. With other Purple Flag winning cities including the renowned night time entertainment venues of Bournemouth, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester, Winchester is in deservedly prestigious company."
Eloise Appleby, Assistant Director for Economic Prosperity at Winchester City Council said, "Winchester City Council is delighted that we have not only retained our Purple Flag, but actually moved up from 'above standard' to 'excellent/ outstanding' in two areas. This is due to the introduction of a team of 44 volunteer 'street pastors', commissioned by the churches of the city, to help vulnerable or distressed people on Friday and Saturday nights; the installation of a new set of digital CCTV cameras, linked to a brand new central control room and the complete refurbishment of Winchester High Street."
Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for the Economy and Tourism, added, "We don't intend to stop here but to keep on improving year after year. My Administration is committed to ensuring Winchester's City Centre remains lively, vibrant and economically viable by day and by night. The results show just how much we can achieve by working in partnership with other organisations, from the County Council to the churches. Congratulations to all those involved in this accreditation process."
Why not visit Winchester, for a bit of Christmas Shopping and stay on into the evening for a meal out in one of our Hampshire Hospitality award-winning restaurants and discover for yourself what an entertaining place it is.
To find out more about Winchester go to www.visitwinchester.co.uk, call Winchester Tourist Information Centre - now officially the best in England - on 01962 840 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org