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Swansea City continues flying the flag for nightlife safety

Swansea evening and night-time economy partners celebrate 10 years of Purple Flag status

SWANSEA’S nightlife scene is keeping the Purple Flag flying over the city for a tenth consecutive year.

The flag highlights how visitors can always expect an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out in the city centre.

Swansea was the first in Wales to achieve the accolade – in 2014 – and is only one of two Purple Flag areas in Wales.

Now a partnership of key organisations has retained Purple Flag status through 2024. The successful bid highlighted a wide range of reasons why the city centre is the place to be now and in the future.

As a national initiative run by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), Purple Flag status rewards vibrant, diverse and safe towns and city centres. The quality mark is the equivalent of Blue Flags for beaches and Green Flags for parks.

The award recognises the excellence of Swansea’s evening and night-time economy from 5pm-5am.

The new bid for accreditation pointed to success stories such as transformation work as part of the council-driven £1bn city regeneration. Also highlighted was the strength of the cross-sector evening and night-time partnership, particularly the involvement of venues resulting in 30 venues now meeting the required safety and customer standards of the Best Bar None scheme.

Other highlights include ongoing work to upgrade the CCTV system, the positive role of key personnel operating on the ground – including taxi marshals, student volunteers and street pastors, new business openings such as Proud Mary and the wide range of events and places to visit and enjoy.

The Help Point on The Strand, which alleviates pressure on ambulance services by providing on-site medical assistance to those who need it, was noted as best practice.

Forthcoming projects to strengthen the area’s Purple Flag status are set to include further regeneration, including the opening of the former Albert Hall, a planned greener new look for Castle Square and new public lighting on High Street.

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Partners involved in the management of Swansea’s evening and night-time economy include various departments at Swansea Council, Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), South Wales Police, British Transport Police, the Office of the Police Crime Commissioner of South Wales, Mid & West Wales Fire Service, Swansea Street Pastors, Swansea Hospitality Forum and Pub and Club Watch, St John Ambulance Cymru, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, many city centre businesses and Swansea Bay University Health Board.

Council cabinet member Robert Francis-Davies said: “We’re delighted to have had our Purple Flag status for a whole decade.

“The partnership works hard on keeping people safe and will continue to do so.

“Great initiatives by our evening and night-time economy partnership have a chance to flourish so everyone has a great time out in a safe environment.

“Purple Flag status reaffirms that Swansea city centre is a vibrant and viable place that keeps visitors coming back for more. Our £1bn regeneration programme is strengthening its appeal.”

Russell Greenslade, chief executive of Swansea BID, said: “We are unbelievably proud that Swansea has once again achieved Purple Flag status. At Swansea BID, our team works tirelessly in collaboration with the police and Swansea Council to ensure visitors to the city can enjoy our brilliant food and beverage venues safely.

“Our taxi marshals are just one example of our nighttime economy team going above and beyond; ensuring visitors get home as quickly and safely as possible. Our free courses for nighttime businesses are a huge success and give workers an opportunity to attend everything from personal licence and customer service training to Nitenet radio system and disability training.

“Our Best Bar None accreditation scheme, which is awarded to venues that demonstrate a commitment to safety, customer service and responsible alcohol management practices, has also had a significant impact on venue standards across the city centre.

“We look forward to exploring other improvements with our partners over the coming year, to ensure we continue to achieve the Purple Flag status for many years to come.”

Examples of best practice highlighted in recent years include the Nite-Net radio communication system operating between premises, CCTV and the police as well as the deployment of temporary toilets on key evenings.

Police and council operations targeting on-street vulnerability, taxi safety and underage drinking also continue to operate.