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Bristol City Centre gains national award for being well managed and dynamic for third year running
Release date: Mon, 17/12/2012
The prestigious national Purple Flag as a well-managed and vibrant place to visit and enjoy at night time has been awarded to Bristol City centre following an application by Bristol City Council, Avon and Somerset Constabulary and Destination Bristol.
The award, made by the Association of Town Centre Managers (ATCM) recognises the wide choice of entertainment and leisure attractions, the huge range of restaurants, hotels, bars and clubs and strong partnership working towards making the city centre safer.
Among positive improvements during the last year were:
· Reduction in crime and anti social behaviour, (violence against a person is down by down by 5%)
· Increase in the numbers of visitors and a range of highly successful events to attract them including See no Evil, the Harbour Festival, the Olympic torch relay, Bristol Thai Festival, outdoor art gallery events, the re-opening of the Bristol Theatre Royal; the expansion of exhibitions at the M Shed and other museums and art galleries including the drawings of Leonardo.
· An increase in the number of visitors and residents feeling safe,
· New measures to improve safety including more investment in improved lighting and CCTV coverage, and joint work on ensuring licensees keep to licence conditions.
· Increase in practical information for visitors including in particular Destination Bristol’s highly successful www.visitbristol.co.uk
· Opening of several new restaurants
· More training for bar staff in promoting responsible drinking and more training for taxi drivers to meet the needs of their customers including those with disabilities.
Mayor George Ferguson said: “Bristol city centre has so much to offer residents and visitors alike and I congratulate al those who have worked hard to win Purple Flag status for the third year running.
“I am keen to build on this achievement to make the city centre an even more attractive place to live, work, visit and do business. This is why I want to make the city centre car free one Sunday a month to attract more people into the city as part of my campaign to make Sunday special.”
Bristol was one of the first cities to gain this award.
John Hirst, Operations Director for Destination Bristol said: “Bristol is very proud to receive the award once again as we continue to improve our overall offer. Purple Flag indicates a city centre that is vibrant and welcoming. We are very keen to demonstrate to all who visit our city centre in the evening and night time that we offer a high standard and a wide variety of entertainment, and attractions, all in a well managed environment."
The assessment process established that standards have been maintained and improved. A wide range of criteria were assessed including personal safety, cleanliness, attractiveness and appeal, arts and cultural on offer and the strength of partnership working.
Inspector Keith Rundle said: “ We are working hard across the partnership to reduce crime and unacceptable behaviour. We are pleased that violent crime is falling in the city centre and we are working hard to continue that reduction. This and other activities is a practical way to help both residents and visitors to the centre to feel and be safe - Purple Flag is recognition for all the hard work done by police and partners in the city centre."
Bristol attracts almost half a million overseas visitors a year (staying at least one night) and in 2009 was nominated as one of the top ten best cities in the world to visit for a short break (DK Eye Witness Travel). Visitors and residents bring the city centre to life and during the summer months. The city’s Harbourside areas, public squares and green spaces are vibrant, exciting places and its visitor economy is worth an estimated £1billion annually to Bristol’s economy supporting almost 20,000 jobs.
By being granted the award the Purple Flag partnership aims to attract a greater number of visitors into the city centre at night and to reduce the negative perceptions that some people hold about the city centre. The award is evidence of the considerable progress that has been made in improving the city centre. It has also helped partnership working by introducing regular nighttime inspections of the city centre by the Purple Flag team.