Canterbury has plenty to celebrate after receiving the prestigious Purple Flag award for its thriving evening and night-time economy.

Similar to the Blue Flag scheme for beaches, the Purple Flag recognises the fact Canterbury provides a vibrant mix of entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and its residents between the hours of 5pm and 5am.

2017 saw only 70 cities and towns in the UK receive accreditation. BID Board member Blake McCaskill and City Sound Project organiser Stuart O’Leary accepted the highly sought-after accolade on behalf of the city at a ceremony in Chester last month.

This is the fourth time since 2011 Canterbury has received the award. The campaign has been led and coordinated by Canterbury Connected Business Improvement District (BID).

Lisa Carlson, Chief Executive of Canterbury Connected BID, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for Canterbury city centre and we’re immensely proud to have successfully driven the bid for Purple Flag status.


“The award is testament to the efforts of so many individuals, organisations and businesses who work hard every day to ensure visitors to Canterbury can experience a safe, diverse, entertaining and enjoyable night out.


“The Purple Flag committee includes representatives from Canterbury Christ Church University, Christ Church Student Union, the University of Kent, Kent Union, Canterbury City Council, District Watch, Kent Police, The Marlowe Theatre, The Curzon, AKON security as well as owners and managers from various pubs, bars and clubs from across the city.


“The Purple Flag award is evidence of what can be achieved when we work together in the best interests of the city.  The hard work definitely doesn’t stop here, and we remain committed to ensuring Canterbury city centre continues to be a world-class destination where people come to visit, study, work and live.”


The Purple Flag assessors visited Canterbury in December 2017 and made a number of positive comments about the city’s evening and night time economy:


  • You have a wonderful city.  You must be very proud of it and of all your achievements.


  • Especially worthy of note is the energy, drive and enthusiasm of the entire BID board and the Purple Flag Steering Committee in their vision for a vibrant and safe night time economy in Canterbury, and its Purple Flag status

Other aspects that were commented on favourably included the Street Marshall scheme run by Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent, the Street Pastor scheme, Canterbury City Council’s Enforcement Team, Kent Police and the Zero Tolerance Steering Committee. In their assessment the judges rated the city’s food and drink offer and the range and quality of our pubs as “outstanding” and the level of partnership working between the wide range of agencies, charities and businesses as “excellent”.

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