Skip to main content

Bury flies the Purple Flag for third year running

Press Release   •   Jun 14, 2017 11:32 BST

Bury continues to be the only town in Greater Manchester to fly the Purple Flag in recognition of its thriving night time entertainment.

Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Green Flag for Parks and Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between 6pm and 6am.

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.

Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to more than 70 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the evening and night time economy. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by the Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain.

To achieve Purple Flag status renewal, the Bury team had to provide information relating to a number of criteria including cleanliness and safety, movement and transport, the range of attractions, entertainment and events, high quality environment and strong partnership working.

This was followed by a late night visit from external assessors in March to see the town centre in action.

This is the third consecutive year that Bury has achieved the accreditation.

The assessors were particularly impressed with the strong partnership that has been built up over the last few years with key stakeholders, businesses, Pubwatch, street pastors and GMP all working together looking to continually improve the night time offer. The assessors also commented on the huge enthusiasm and pride in Bury.

The assessors were also impressed with the East Lancashire Railway Evening Diner Train which they viewed on the assessment, and have asked for further details about the attraction to be shared with other Purple Flag areas.

Councillor Judith Kelly, cabinet member for corporate affairs and regulatory services, said: “We are delighted to once again receive this prestigious award in recognition of the ongoing excellence of Bury town centre. Purple Flag status for the third year running reflects our recognition of the importance of the night time economy and builds on our overall partnership approach to ensure that the town centre continues to support the wider economy.

“With ever increasing pressures on our council resources this type of partnership working is increasingly important to support our evening and night time economy to ensure Bury continues to go from strength to strength.

“Our Purple Flag status recognises the ever increasing offer with a fully refurbished Met providing theatre, music and culture, East Lancashire Railway, and an expanding number of food and drink options plus family entertainment at The Rock with bowling, cinema, and restaurants, all ensuring that Bury offers entertainment and attractions for all age groups.”

Lorraine Beckett Murray, chair of the Bury Pubwatch Group, said:

“Continued Purple Flag status is a fantastic achievement for Bury and reflects the close partnership working across evening and night time businesses, including our pubs and clubs, with key partners including our street pastors (who provide assistance to vulnerable people) and Greater Manchester Police. We will continue to work to provide an improved, safe and diverse night time offer so that all town centre users can enjoy a safe enjoyable night out.”


Press release issued: 14 June 2017.

Note to editors:

  • The ‘after dark’ economy is worth over £66bn[1] annually to the UK, supporting thousands of businesses, employing 4.5% of the UK workforce[2], and significantly contributing to local economies.

  • About Purple Flag

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust’s “Night Vision” report in 2006, and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management.

Purple Flag is:

  • An accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.
  • A comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples designed to help transform town and city centres at night.
  • A research, training and development programme, to help towns and cities improve their evening and night-time economy.
  • A positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

[1] TBR MAKE Night-Time Economy Index 2009

[2] TBR MAKE Night-Time Economy Index 2010