Canterbury Bid

Supporting Canterbury’s Evening and Night Time Economy

Canterbury is celebrating its 11th anniversary year of Purple Flag, an accreditation awarded by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) to town and city centres that offer an high standard of safety, entertainment and variety of offers to people enjoying a night out.

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

Highlights from Canterbury’s 2022/23 submission include the police licensing response to the panic created by the spiking in clubs post lockdown, and the immediate partnership support of the late night venues in raising awareness. The free bus service provided by the late night venues is an outstanding provision worthy of merit, and the connected routes scheme is a great policy and to be commended.

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 £686,420.69 of Safer Streets funding for the city.

Amongst many projects, this funding is supporting 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), academic research and Safe Night Out campaigns managed by University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University and the extension of the Safe Zone app for residents.

A group of people representing purple flag and smiling

Purple Flag Accreditaion

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. 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.

Zero Tolerance 

A FREE training and accreditation scheme for licensed venues designed to equip managers and staff with guidelines and frameworks for how to combat harassment. The programme has also been revised to include broader elements of equality, diversity and inclusion and to respond to potential spiking incidents.

Best Bar None Accreditation and Awards

The accreditation assesses against four themes:

  1. Venue management: assesses security measures and steps taken to reduce noise, litter and other effects the business may have
  2. Staff training and care: considers how staff are supported by the business to perform their role, develop and grow, and to protect their wellbeing
  3. Customer safety and welfare: reviews how well the venue takes care of its customers including preventing alcohol being sold to those under 18.
  4. Customer service and community: recognises that businesses work hard to provide a warm welcome to their customers and the communities they are part of.

Canterbury Night Out Gift Card

Launched on Valentine’s Day and led by Canterbury BID, the Canterbury Night Out Gift Card is designed to drive footfall to the city’s evening and night time businesses, including restaurants, theatres, pubs, clubs and hotels.

An extension of the city’s popular Canterbury Gift Card, the card already counts Hampton by Hilton, Nando’s, Cosy Club, herd. Club Chemistry, Tokyo Team Rooms, ABode and The Marlowe Theatre among some of the businesses where the Night Out Gift Card can be spent.

Safe Havens (Refuge Points)

As part of the Safer Streets Home Office funding and Connected Routes initiative, a number of organisations have agreed to offer a safe space for patrons of Evening and Night Time Economy (ENTE). These are called Refuge Points or Safe Havens and offer a place of safety and temporary shelter to members of the public on a night out who may be in distress or feeling unsafe during the evening and night time hours. Currently there are 12 Refuge Points located across Canterbury, in various organisations ranging from 24 hour service stations, McDonalds, transport providers, university and emergency service hubs.

Connected Routes is an interactive map highlighting both the Safe Havens and lit routes around the city centre and towards the two universities, encouraging students to choose a safe route home.

SafeZone App

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.

Kent Police

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.   

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.

Street Marshals

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 until 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

CSU run and promote 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: