Canterbury Bid

Celebrating 10 years of Purple Flag

A group of people representing purple flag and smiling

In its 10th anniversary year of Purple Flag, Canterbury is welcoming back the Association of Town and City Management Purple Flag assessors this Saturday, November 19th, in the hopes of securing the prestigious accreditation once again.

The Purple Flag is awarded by the Association of City and Town Management (ACTM) to town and city centres that offer an high standard of safety, entertainment and variety of offers to people enjoying a night out. Similar to the Green Flag award for parks and the Blue Flag award for beaches, the Purple Flag recognises locations that meet or surpass standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.

There are 70 Purple Flag towns and cities in the UK with Canterbury as the only accredited location in Kent.

The accreditation campaign in Canterbury is chaired by Canterbury BID, and it is our opportunity to give credit to the numerous business and organisations across the city who strive to make Canterbury’s evening and night time economy vibrant, diverse and safe. There is always more work to do, but right now, we want to acknowledge the brilliant contributions of all the Canterbury partners, not least to help secure £564,000 of Safer Streets funding for the city. Amongst many projects, this funding will support Zero Tolerance training accreditation, Best Bar None accreditation (and signposting and marketing of accredited venues), two new Refuge Points to complement the existing 12, bystander training for Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) and the extension of the Safe Zone app for residents.

Canterbury’s Purple Flag committee includes representatives from Canterbury Christ Church University, Christ Church Student Union, University of Kent, Kent Union, Canterbury City Council, Kent Police, Street Pastors, Alliance of Canterbury Residents’ Association as well as owners and managers from various businesses across the city such as The Marlowe Theatre, Club Chemistry, The Foundry Brewery and Distillery, Pride Canterbury, Tokyo Tearoom, McDonald’s, Curzon Cinema and Student Republic.

Get to know your local Purple Flag Committee

Street Pastors. This team of volunteers is on duty every Saturday night between 10pm and 4am responding to the needs of the city. Their work varies depending on who needs help, but they carry bags that include: flip-flops, bottled water, spikey bottle stoppers, and first-aid. They also clear away broken glass and tins and help people get home safely.

University of Kent and Christ Church University work in partnership to keep their students safe. They have created the SafeZone App which can alert the university’s Security team to students in need of urgent assistance and first aid. It also promotes ‘Connected Routes’, a map that highlights refuge stops throughout the city for anyone feeling unsafe, along with the Zero Tolerance scheme and Safe Taxi Scheme.

As part of Canterbury’s Purple Flag community, we are very lucky to have the Street Marshals. They operate in pairs, one male and one female, patrolling the streets several evenings a week from 11pm and 4am. Their aim is to safeguard students whilst on their way home, promote student safety and to remind any people that are causing a disturbance in the early hours to respect the local community. The scheme is run jointly by the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, using Right Guard Security staff. Key areas include St Michael’s area, Club Chemistry, Wincheap, Sturry Road and Northgate.

Community Safety Unit runs and promotes safety campaigns to help you stay safe during your night out. Partner agencies supporting this hub are:
Canterbury City Council CSU, Kent Police, Street Pastors, Canterbury Christ Church University, University of Kent, Christ Church Students’ Union, Kent Union, Canterbury BID

You can also find Student Safety campaigns online:

Kent Police is one of the major supporters and participants of Canterbury’s Purple Flag programme. They assist and take active part in all ENTE safety hubs, run dedicated operations and patrols to support and improve your night-out experience, and provide essential data and evidence for the purpose of Purple Flag yearly accreditation submission.   

Zero Tolerance is an accreditation scheme for licensed venues designed to equip staff with guidelines and frameworks for how to combat sexual harassment. The programme is currently being revised to included broader elements of equality, diversity and inclusion, delivered by Canterbury BID in conjunction and support of Licencing Officers from the local Police.

Heading home after a night out in the city? Stay safe by making sure you follow the Connected Routes. By following the map, you can benefit from Street Pastor and Street Marshal patrols in and around the city centre. Both patrols are on hand to care for, listen and help you get home safely.

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