Wexford Town is celebrating following its recent achievement of the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy.
Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – and is awarded to towns and cities judged to meet certain criteria for vibrant and safe evening and night time economies. Purple Flags are viewed as the “gold standard” for night-time destinations, with Awardees required to meet 30 different stringent criteria, including decreasing crime statistics, appropriate transport, a vibrant appeal, a stimulating destination and a strong partnership with the community.
Wexford officially received their Purple Flag accreditation on the 8th February, 2017, along with Dublin One, Leeds, Limerick and Maynooth. A number of UK towns also received the prestigious award, including Reading and Paisley, while a further seven towns; Dunfermline, Leicester Square, Newcastle under Lyme, Preston, Salisbury, Sheffield and Southend had their Purple Flag status renewed. Wexford’s purple flag was proudly hoisted for the first time by Deputy Mayor of Wexford, Councillor Tony Dempsey, at a celebratory evening at the Irish National Heritage Park on Tuesday last, 28 February.
Speaking at the launch, Councillor Tony Dempsey said “Winning the Purple Flag is another project milestone for Wexford, and it is a great credit to the team who have driven the project to completion. Towns and cities that have been awarded Purple Flag status have reported increased sales and additional evening events and activities. Wexford is currently planning more events and projects for the year ahead and we are encouraging all businesses in the town to display the Purple Flag logo on their websites and on their email signatures. This is a hugely important accreditation for our town and it should be broadcast across all sectors.”
Madeleine Quirke, CEO Wexford Chamber, said “We are delighted to see Wexford join the very select group of Irish towns who have been awarded Purple Flag status. This achievement is the result of 12 months collaborative work by Wexford Chamber, Wexford County Council, the Gardai and other key partners throughout the town. The award shows Wexford has been judged as surpassing standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy, and it demonstrates in an independent and public manner that the town offers an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.
Visitors to Wexford can see that our town centre has been given an official seal of approval by expert assessors, giving a great boost to our on-going efforts to sell Wexford as a destination and bring in visitors to spend their money with local businesses.”
Shanaaz Carroll is CEO of the awarding authority, Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). “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” said Shanaaz. “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 from the local community working together and we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”