A partnership of local organisations and businesses, including Torbay Council, are celebrating after retaining the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for the evening and night-time economy in Torquay.

It has also been highlighted by the organisers of this accreditation that Torquay is the only town in Devon and Cornwall to receive this award.

Similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, the purple flag accreditation aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5 pm and 5 am.

Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture whilst promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.

Councillor Robert Excell, Executive Lead for Community Services, said: “This is great news for our evening and night time economy in Torquay, and I congratulate everyone involved in working hard to ensure we retain the Purple Flag status. This success is testimony to the hard work and dedication of a number of key partners, which includes, local business, trade members from the Best Bar None group, Police, the Street Pastors, English Riviera Bid representatives, TDA, Taxi Trade and the Council.

“The Purple Flag provides a platform to build upon the success and with exciting additions to the evening and night time economy and strength of partnerships locally. This means that our visitors and residents should feel safer whilst enjoying the offering of Torquay’s night life.”

In retaining status as a member of this elite group of similar Towns and Cities across the UK, Torquay was judged on five key attributes: Wellbeing, Movement, Broad Appeal, Place and Policy. As a minimum requirement a stringent standard must be met, however, Torquay excelled in three of the five areas having been judged above standard on Wellbeing, Broad Appeal and Place.

Kelly Widley, Chair of Best Bar None, said: “Having been involved with Purple Flag for the past 6 years I am incredibly proud that we continue to be recognised for providing a high quality and enjoyable night-time experience. Especially as the only town in Devon & Cornwall to do so! Best Bar None is delighted to work alongside this scheme - striving for excellence as we welcome everyone to our beautiful Bay, taking care of the safety of our visitors by continually building a better night out for our visitors. Torquay offers a great mix of venues & attractions appealing to a wide variety of people run by hard working, passionate & professional teams with the highest standards.”

Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 70 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the area. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses.

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