Newry City Centre Has Renewed Purple Flag Status

The Purple Flag Status is Renewed for Newry City Centre

The Purple Flag Status is Renewed for Newry City Centre

The prestigious Purple Flag accreditation has once again been awarded to Newry City for its Evening and Night-Time Economy (ENTE). 

Purple Flag is an international accreditation that is awarded to town and city centres that meet or surpass the standards for excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy. 

Newry has retained Purple Flag status annually since 2016 and highlights from this year’s submission include:

  • the level of support being given to businesses;
  • the number of events happening;
  • continued commitment to supporting the appeal and growth of the city
  • and increased resources to boost the Newry brand.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said: “It’s not hard to see why Newry has once again received this prestigious award.

Cllr Michael Savage, centre, Chairperson, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council pictured at the opening the Newry Arts Festival Art Exhibition in the former Boulevard Restaurant in Newry.
Exhibiting artists (l-r) include Cora Harrington, Richard Kelly, Caóilfíonn Murphy O’Hanlon (Cushla of Gullion) and Rozzi Kennedy.

“Purple Flag areas are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture, while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents.

“We are also seeing an increase in a wide range of events happening throughout the year including arts and culture, leisure and eating out experiences.

“Cultural events such as the inaugural Newry Arts Festival – a celebratory mix of exhibitions, comedy, music and drama events – has just finished its ten day run.

“This shone a light on Newry’s arts scene. Events such as these add vibrancy and contribute to the overall appeal of the city.

“With a brand new Theatre and Conference Centre planned, effective and strong partnership, and the attraction of new significant volumes of business start-up activity, Newry looks forward to a bright future.”

Newry Business Improvement District (BID) Managing Director, Eamonn Connolly said: “The hospitality sector has been badly hit with Covid and the challenges arising from our Business Rates System.

“Our urban centres need to be vibrant and innovative to survive and the retention of Purple Flag status is a testimony to the resilience of the Newry hospitality.

“The BID is delighted to co-ordinate Purple Flag on the ground in Newry and the partnership with stakeholders is key to ensuring Newry has a safe and attractive night-time and evening economy offer.”

The accreditation scheme is led by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) with backing from government, police and businesses and has been attributed to a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the ENTE of accredited towns and cities

About Purple Flag

The ‘after dark’ economy is worth over £66bn annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5% of the UK workforce, and significantly contributing to local economies.

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust’s ‘Night Vision’ report in 2006 and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management.

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.