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Norwich wins prestigious Purple Flag award for its nightlife

PUBLISHED: 20:00 25 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:47 26 September 2017

Mercy nightclub in Norwich. 
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Mercy nightclub in Norwich. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Norwich has been given a prestigious award for the success of its night-time entertainment.

Mercy nightclub in the Norwich.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY. Mercy nightclub in the Norwich. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Just as Blue Flags are awarded to top beaches and Green Flags to leading parks, the fine city has been given a “Purple Flag” from the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) to show it offers an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out in the city.

To secure the award, Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) worked with Norwich City Council, Norfolk Police, pubs and clubs to improve the quality of entertainment and tackle any anti-social behaviour and crime arising from its nightlife.

MORE: Norwich named second safest city in England for a late night out

They have worked to bring a wider range of entertainment to the city and increased footfall, such as its 10-week Head Out, Not Home free summer event initiative with street performers and live music to celebrate the city’s cultural life.

Businesses in areas such as Prince of Wales Road have also formed a Late Night Norwich scheme to ensure organisations work together to help stamp out drunken and anti-social behaviour.

Organisers believe it “has resulted in a significant impact on safety and wellbeing in the city”.

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said: “Norwich BID has continued to work tirelessly to improve the city centre offer with the businesses and partners to ensure we are recognised as national leader.

“The Purple Flag award reflects the hard work and dedication that all the partners have put in to make the city an amazing place to live, work and play.”

MORE: New five-year term for Norwich BID to spend £5m improving city centre is given go-ahead

The city boasts 347 licensed premises and hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, including the City of Ale, Norwich Fashion Week, Norfolk and Norwich Festival, and the Norwich Food and Drink Festival

A dedicated 9pm to 5am police shift on Fridays and Saturdays to help tackle any disturbance has also led to a significant reduction in crime, it has been said.

The work of Norwich Street Outreach – such as Safe Haven, Street Presence, The Norfolk Street Partnership and the SOS Bus – has also helped with security.

Andy Gotts, chairman of Late Night Norwich, said: “This is amazing and is a reflection of so much hard work from everybody who works in the late-night economy to care for and value our customers.”

Sarah Walker, Purple Flag co-ordinator, said: “There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation.

“The award is not just about safety but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer — this can only be achieved by people working together in a strong partnership to which we are seeing strong examples of this across the country.”

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