The Purple Flag initiative, similar to the Blue Flag for beaches and the Green Flag for Parks, aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres in the evenings and at night. The successful bid for Purple Flag status was put together jointly by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Festival Place, Anvil Arts, Destination Basingstoke, Basingstoke Street Pastors, Basingstoke Town Centre Pubwatch and Hampshire Constabulary. Achieving Purple Flag status puts Basingstoke among an elite 40 town and city centres across the British Isles.
Basingstoke’s highly-prized Purple Flag accreditation has now been officially marked: The Haymarket in Wote Street was lit up by a special Purple Flag projection in its foyer and sported purple bunting, as did many of the premises in the town. This was continued in Festival Square, where the lighting went purple for the evening and I was able to attend a special purple cake cutting ceremony with representatives of all the groups and organisations that had worked on the accreditation to celebrate the arrival of the Purple Flag, which is now flying above Festival Place.
Basingstoke is already a popular destination for a fun-filled and safe night out for all age groups. The ‘Purple Flag’ is further recognition of the work we are doing to improve our town centre. I hope that even more people will visit us to enjoy the friendly atmosphere that Basingstoke has to offer.
Anvil Arts’ Head of Operations Sue McCleester said: “We are delighted that Basingstoke town centre has won national recognition that it provides a safe and enjoyable evening out. Anvil Arts will continue to do all it can to provide a wide range of high quality events for all parts of our community to enjoy at The Anvil and The Haymarket, and we look forward to working with our partners in the Purple Flag group to ensure more great evenings out for everyone in future.”
Chief Inspector Steve Wallace, commander of Basingstoke and Deane policing district, said: “The Purple Flag signals to people who want to come to Basingstoke and enjoy a night out, that they can do so with the reassurance that it is a safe and thriving environment. This is a fantastic achievement by so many different groups and organisations working together. The award is a testament to the hard work of local people who are committed to ensuring Basingstoke remains a safe place to live and work.”