Northampton Guildhall

Northampton night time economy recognised globally with prestigious Purple Flag accreditation

Northampton is celebrating as it proudly receives the globally acclaimed Purple Flag accreditation, recognising its commitment to creating a dynamic, secure, and vibrant evening and night time economy.

This prestigious award highlights Northampton’s blend of night time entertainment, dining, and culture, all while ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors in the evening and night time economy.

Purple Flag, similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am. There are 100 Purple Flag destinations around the world including world renowned tourist destinations to small market towns.

Receiving the Purple Flag accreditation can boost the local economy, increase tourism, and improve the overall quality of life for residents by providing more night time entertainment and social opportunities. It’s a way for cities and towns to demonstrate their commitment to creating vibrant and safe evening and night time environments.

West Northamptonshire Council, the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northampton BID, working with partners, have successfully retained the Purple Flag status for five years. Northampton is one of 10 areas in the UK to have received a Full Renewal accreditation with 13 others receiving an Interim Renewal accreditation.

Key successes in Northampton’s submission include the impressive dedication of the Purple Flag partners, the licensed driver training scheme and the new night time economy strategy.

In the past 3 years, the council alongside partners has delivered a range of initiatives to improve safety in the town centre. This includes investing in ID scan technology in clubs and bars, improvements to street lighting at taxi ranks and other identified dark spaces, launching the Flare App, creating safer walking routes and help points in the Racecourse and Beckets Park, increased CCTV and Police Nightsafe crews around the town centre, and introducing a new Taxi Marshal service to promote safer travelling at nighttime.

The West Community Safety Partnership also led on the development of the It Only Takes One campaign promoting safety advice for women and raising awareness of the impact that harassment and inappropriate behaviour can have while educating bystanders to recognise unacceptable behaviour. In addition, the roll out of ‘Stand by Her’ training was delivered to young men in education to help them understand the impact of harassing behaviour on women.

Cllr David Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “With the help of partners we have delivered an incredible amount of work over the past 3 years to improve the night time economy in Northampton and ensure that residents and visitors feel safe at all times.

“The impact of this work is evident in the reduced crime rates and feedback from local businesses and I am delighted that this was recognised by the Purple Flag auditors on their visit to Northampton town centre during one of our peak night time economy weekends.

“The council is committed to working with businesses to ensure we remain a safe and vibrant evening destination and we look forward to continuing this vital ongoing work to make West Northamptonshire a safe, enjoyable and welcoming place for all.”

Stephen Mold, the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: “We all want to make Northampton a place where people feel safe, and there has been a lot of work undertaken by a number of different organisations to contribute towards that.

“The OPFCC has worked with West Northamptonshire Council to invest in a number of safety measures in the town centre, including new CCTV help points and well-lit safe walking routes.

“It’s a fantastic endorsement for Northampton to be awarded Purple Flag accreditation and demonstrates that the many efforts to improve safety in the town centre are having a very positive effect.”

Mark Mullen, Operations Manager at Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID), said: “Creating a safe and welcoming environment for our visitors is key to a successful night time economy and I’m delighted the efforts of multiple partners to do just this has been recognised.

“We enjoy a close working relationship with local authorities, emergency services and the volunteer groups who all play an integral role in ensuring visitors can enjoy a night out in Northampton.

“We look forward to developing that further as we prepare for the exciting plans afoot for our town centre with the reimagined Market Square, the opening of STACK and a refreshed Fish Street and Abington Street.”