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Purple Flag is ‘within reach’

A recent visit to Dublin saw representatives from Ennis receive good feedback on their work towards a Purple Flag for the town.

A group of representatives took part in a day’s workshop to prepare for the next steps in the process towards Purple Flag accreditation for the night-time economy of Ennis town.

The group consisted of six people out of the total working group of 23 and included town clerk Leonard Cleary; president of Ennis Chamber, Brian O Neill; town councillor and chair of the Municipal Policy Committee, Johnny Flynn; Inspector Garda Tom Kennedy; CEO of Ennis Chamber Rita McInerney and Clare-based communications consultant Carmen Cronin.

Following the visit, the group is set to brief the other members the working group on the necessary work on the ground to be completed.

At the meeting, which was held at the offices of Dublin BID, who are also applying for Purple Flag, the categories of the programme evaluating the town and the night-time economy were looked at in detail, such as wellbeing and safety, movement and parking, appeal and entertainment, place and buildings and policy envelope, referring to the working together of businesses, agencies and officials in the town.

Over the past months, the working group had been preparing a document called the Ennis Snapshot for Purple Flag, which now spans 41 pages outlining the town’s strength in these areas to convince the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), who run the Purple Flag programme and have so far accredited 30 towns and cities in the UK, that Ennis is a worthy candidate to join this exclusive club.

The Snapshot document is the third in a total of six steps to the accreditation. So far, Ennis has also completed the tasks of forming a working group and creating a map of the Purple Flag area.

The next steps are an overnight self-assessment, which is due to take place in September and a document showing the outcomes from the assessment.

The next meeting with ATCM and Dublin BID will be held in Ennis on October 9.

The working group will hand in their application by November 1 and then it is up to ATCM and their assessors, who are due to visit Ennis in December to make up their minds.

According to a spokesperson for the Ennis group, “The feedback at the meeting in Dublin was very positive and Ennis has good reason to believe that a Purple Flag will fly in the town in early 2013. The aim of the Purple Flag accreditation for town centres is to provide a safe, appealing, well-managed night out and as a result to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town centres. Just as Blue Flag is an indicator of a safe and clean beach, Purple Flag is set to be the indicator of where to go for a good night out and will bring positive publicity for the successful town and city centres.

“Purple Flag has been designed as an objective assessment that will help towns to put in place the right framework across five key areas, including wellbeing, in terms of safety and diversity of entertainment for different ages, lifestyles and cultures within towns.

“The scheme requires a combined approach of key stakeholder groups, including governmental bodies, gardaí, business and consumers.

“Purple Flag is the benchmark for safe night-time destinations that offer a positive experience to the community and its visitors.”


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