Representatives of the organisations which led Hull’s campaign to achieve Purple Flag status received the award last night (Tuesday) in a ceremony at Sheffield City Hall.
Hull was among five towns and cities which were recognised for the safety, quality and diversity of their night-time economy.
In order to achieve the standard, centres must demonstrate a range of activities, initiatives and services and offer residents and visitors an entertaining and diverse night out.
Also recognised at the ceremony were Maidstone, Salisbury, Camden and Gants Hill, taking the total of Purple Flag towns and cities in the UK to 36.
Hull’s campaign was led by a partnership which includes HullBID, Hull City Council, Humberside Police, Hull Citysafe and the Primary Care Trust.
Purple Flag inspectors from the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) assessed the city over the weekend of the Freedom Festival in September.
The ATCM announced its findings last month and confirmed Hull as only the third Purple Flag recipient in Yorkshire, emulating the success of Halifax and Sheffield.
The full Purple Flag assessment report shows that Hull exceeded the standard required in 17 out of 30 criteria studied by the inspection team and the accreditation panel which followed. The city met the requirements in the remaining 13 categories.
Philip Kolvin QC, Chairman of the Purple Flag Board said: “It is fantastic to see that further towns and cities have been successful at attaining Purple Flag status.
“The initiative is hugely important for the communities who live there and for their visitors, as it continues to lead the way in showcasing how towns and cities can be celebrated as the very best locations for a fun, varied and safe night out for everyone.
“Adding five new Purple Flag towns and cities to the existing thirty-one accredited centres is a great achievement and sets a precedent for further centres to follow suit and commit to achieving the high standards required”.
Mark Baird, Head of Industry Affairs and Alcohol Policy, from Purple Flag sponsor Diageo GB said: “Diageo Great Britain remains dedicated to supporting the Purple Flag scheme. The ‘after dark’ economy is worth £66bn annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5 per cent of the UK workforce, and significantly contributing to local economies.
“The Purple Flag towns and cities are continuing to challenge the negative stereotypes about Britain’s night time economy and shine a light on some of the great locations we have.”
After the awards ceremony, Kathryn Shillito, Hull BID City Centre Manager, said: “The fact that the awards were attended by public and private sector partners from all over the UK underlines the importance of the Purple Flag scheme.
“We have been working towards this for some 18 months because we see it as a great opportunity to promote Hull and to show people how much the city has improved in recent years.
“We are delighted that the city has now gained this recognition, particularly as the decision was based on external assessment. We will make sure we fly the Purple Flag with pride.”
Superintendent Mark Johansson of Humberside Police said: “Keeping people safe is one of the key elements of policing in Hull, and something we take very seriously as a police force.
“Hull City Centre has developed enormously over the last few years and I am pleased to say that all of the hard work which has been done with the partner agencies and licensees, has really come to fruition. So much so, that it has been recognised by a national body of assessors.
“It is a great accolade to have, however we will continue to work closely with our partners and local businesses in order to keep Hull city centre a safe place in which the night time economy can thrive.”
The Lord Mayor of Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor Danny Brown, said: “The Purple Flag will hang very proudly in the city. It is excellent that the vibrant mix of arts, culture, dining and events and the good management of the city centre has been recognised by Purple Flag.
“Hull’s great attractions and cultural experiences, with both Hockney and Leonardo da Vinci exhibitions at the Ferens, the ever popular Freedom Festival and Humber Mouth Literature Festival, and this year the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Torch have seen the city at its very best.
“The continued regeneration has seen the look of the city transform and the hard work of the Council and its partners means the city is a clean, safe and attractive place to spend time. Well done to everyone involved.”