Purple Flag is a prestigious town and city centre award – similar to Blue Flags that are presented to outstanding beaches and Green Flags for excellent parks. The award recognises places that have a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment, leisure and cultural offers available while promoting the safety and well-being of visitors and local residents.
Chippenham Town Council, being one of the smallest towns in the UK to attain this tremendous achievement, is hosting the business lunchtime event.
This year’s theme is celebrating the “Past, Present & Future” of general community safety and well-being, current Purple Flag activities nationally and looking forward to tourism re-emerging in Chippenham and the South West.
At our networking opportunity we will hear from our inspirational guest speakers:
Past – Trevor Barton, MBE will outline the origins of CCTV in the development of the town circa 2000.
Present –Sarah Walker, Evening and Night Time Economy (ENTE) specialist will give an overview of The Women’s Night Safety Charter how towns and cities have coped throughout the pandemic and how they are now recovering.
Future – Kathryn Davis, Director of Tourism of Visit West and David Andrews, Chief Executive, VisitWiltshire will summarise plans to increase tourism to the West of England and how the Great West Way is developing.
The Great West Way project is focused on creating a world class tourism experience, winning new business and market share for Britain, growing the visitor economy and transforming the visitor experience along and around the route.
To celebrate being one of the smallest towns retaining the award, Chippenham Town Council hosted a Purple Flag business breakfast to increase awareness and show its importance towards the night time economy. Guest speakers included Rita King, formerly Local Partnerships Director from the Portman Group, who support alcohol producers with responsible marketing and social responsibility, and Maggie Blyth who has a background in safeguarding and public protection working initially in the probation service and now child protection.
Purple Flag is an accreditation process similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches. Purple Flag status recognises towns providing a strong and varied mix of night time entertainment, from 5pm to 5am that are also safe for residents and visitors alike. Towns and cities with Purple Flag status have reported more people visiting at night and a drop in crime levels after winning the award.
Areas that receive Purple Flag status benefit from:
• An improved public image
• Increased visitors
• Lower crime and antisocial behaviour
• A more successful mixed use economy
• Attract a broader demographic
Chippenham was first awarded this accreditation in February 2016. A range of partners organisations are working with ENTE businesses to help promote Chippenham as a fun and safe place to come to. The aim is to bring in new initiatives and better promote the wide range of existing opportunities to attract people of all ages to come out and discover that Chippenham is alive after 5pm when the traditional shopping and work culture closes down.
In 2017, we celebrated Purple Flag weekend with a Business Breakfast, which had a night time economy theme, where we invited local businesses, charities and communities groups, the Police, Fire Service and Wiltshire Council, Councillors and officers to a networking event with the inspirational speaker Rev Les Isaac OBE who talked on the importance of partnership working within the night time economy.
We followed this with a day of purple based activities in the High Street to raise awareness of Purple Flag and its importance to the night time economy. Since then we have had many evening shows and productions across venues in the town, including events such as Christmas Lights switch on, Easter celebrations and the annual Folk festival.