Purple Flag status is officially launched with a BANG!
Published Wednesday 17th October 12 in Council - news and information releases news
Southend will celebrate its recently acquired status as a Purple Flag town with a BANG this Saturday (October 20th).
Purple Flag is an accreditation scheme which recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night.
Just as Blue Flags are a guarantee of good beaches, Purple Flags act as an indicator of where to go for a good night out.
The standard is only awarded to entertainment areas which are judged to have met a strict set of criteria.
Southend High Street and the town's sea front were awarded Purple Flag status in April and became the first areas in Essex to have their night-time economy recognised.
And on Saturday an official launch event is being staged by the Southend Town Centre Partnership, the town's Night Time Economy Group and Southend Club Watch to celebrate.
All the action will be centred around Marine Parade between 6pm and 9pm when there will be a whole host of entertainment for the whole family.
Attractions include a 25-minute fire and light show called 'Flame' and dance and music by samba band Brazilarte which will bring a carnival atmosphere to the sea front.
There will also be performances by indie band Winterhours, cover band The Generals and 'hang' drummer Chris Baron.
The evening will culminate with a sea front 'Fireworks Spectacular' which starts at 8pm and will see the skies above the Southend shoreline explode with colour, noise and a purple haze.
Southend's bid for Purple Flag status was launched by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council in partnership with Essex Police.
Among the features of the town's night-time economy which were recognised by the judges were:
- an innovative town centre policing strategy
- the 'BOBB' (Behave or Be Banned) scheme, which they said was "well enforced and respected" by the police and local businesses
- the availability of fixed and portable toilets
- the SoS Bus - "an excellent example of what can be achieved through multi-agency co-operation" and
- the town's 'Clubwatch' scheme, where representatives of 35 town centre clubs, pubs and bars meet regularly with police to share intelligence and good practice
The Purple Flag scheme was developed by the Association of Town Centre Management from original research undertaken by the Civic Trust as part of the "NightVision" project.
This showed that more people would use town and city centres at night if they were safer, more accessible and offered more choice.
Southend is one of 30 UK towns and cities which have been awarded Purple Flag status. You can keep up to date with Purple Flag related events by following @SouthendPurpleF on Twitter.
Executive Councillor for Waste, Public Protection and Transport, Tony Cox, said: "We're very proud to have acquired Purple Flag status for the High Street and sea front areas.
"The night-time economy is massively important to Southend and the flag is an indication to residents and visitors alike that these areas are vibrant, safe and clean places.
"What happens in Southend after dark is every bit as vital to the economy of the town as what occurs during daylight hours.
"Saturday's event is our official celebration of Purple Flag status and all that Southend has to offer by way of night time entertainment and will be a great night out for all the family."