Chester’s iconic Eastgate Clock and Town Hall have both been lit purple this week as part of a national campaign recognising Purple Flag towns and cities in the UK.
The city centre achieved the coveted award in February this year following a 12-month campaign led by CH1ChesterBID in partnership with Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) and a number of other groups and organisations.
Purple Flag status recognises areas that offer an ‘entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out’ and Chester is one of only 70 towns and cities in the UK to have achieved it.
Throughout October, the organisation behind the awards – the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) – has been working with local groups to increase awareness of the initiative and help to raise standards across the country.
And to support the drive, CH1ChesterBID has worked with CWaC to illuminate the Eastgate Clock and Town Hall in purple for one week between 20-28 October.
Nick White, City Centre Manager for CH1ChesterBID, said: “We’ve got a flourishing night time economy in Chester thanks to the hard work of many people, and our Purple Flag award reflects that collective effort.
“The ATCM were very keen to promote Purple Flag towns and cities in the UK throughout October so we were really eager to get involved. Lighting up one of the world’s most famous clocks as well as our beautiful Town Hall in purple makes an impressive statement. We want to remind people how proud we are of the night time economy here in Chester.”
According to the ATCM, the ‘after dark’ economy is worth an estimated £72bn annually in the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5% of the UK workforce, and significantly contributing to local economies.
The Purple Flag is similar to the Blue Flag award for beaches but instead aims to raise standards and broaden the appeal of night time and evening economies within towns and city centres across the UK.
Chester achieved Purple Flag status in February following a year-long campaign involving the city’s Business Improvement District, CH1ChesterBID alongside CWaC and other organisations including Cheshire Police, Chester Pubwatch, the University of Chester, Chester Street Pastors and several other groups.