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Newport awarded Purple Flag for night-time economy

Newport has received the official Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy.

Similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, the Purple Flag scheme aims to raise the standard and appeal of town and city centre 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 residents.

Highlights from Newport’s submission include the invigoration of cafe culture during the pandemic, the proactive work being done around drugs and drink spiking, and the Newport Explorer signage.

Councillor Jane Mudd, Leader of Newport City Council, said: “This is exceptionally good news for Newport and all the businesses that are part of the night-time economy. It is a tribute to the hard work of our licensing officers and our partners, including Newport Now BID and Pubwatch.

“There has undoubtedly been a significant change in the evening and night-time offer and atmosphere in the city centre.

“We have an amazing European-style café culture developing in the High Street area of the town with the newly refurbished market complementing the existing bars and restaurants.

“We have the traditional and popular pubs such as the Potters as well as the cluster of excellent restaurants in Friars Walk. The city also has fantastic independent businesses providing live music and entertainment from Le Pub in High Street to the Riverfront Theatre.

Councillor James Clarke, cabinet member for strategic planning, regulation and housing, said: “I’m delighted at this news and would like to thank Ray Truman, the former cabinet member for public protection, who gave his full support to our bid to gain the accreditation.

“We will continue to work with our partners to not only maintain our Purple Flag status but to build on it and improve still further."

Kevin Ward, manager of the Newport Now Business Improvement District (BID), said: “This is fantastic news for Newport’s evening and night-time economy, particularly as we move out of the Covid pandemic.

“The BID has worked with the council, the police, Pubwatch, Newport Business Against Crime, and other partners to improve the city centre’s night-time offering and Purple Flag status is a just reward.

“As well as the regular services we provide to businesses, last Christmas we distributed anti-drink spiking materials to licensed premises across the city centre, and we will shortly be launching our Night Ambassadors service to provide further assistance to the late-night economy on Fridays and Saturdays.

“But this award is only the start. Improving the night-time economy is a continuing process and the work to retain Purple Flag starts now.”

About Purple Flag

Developed following the Civic Trust’s “Night Vision” report in 2006 and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management, the Purple Flag is..

• An accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.

• A comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples designed to help transform town and city centres at night.

• A research, training and development programme, to help towns and cities improve their evening and night-time economy.

• A positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

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