Barnsley town centre has been awarded a coveted Purple Flag accreditation for the fifth consecutive year in recognition of its commitment to creating a dynamic, secure, and vibrant evening and night-time economy.
The Purple Flag scheme aims to raise the standard while broadening the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am. This prestigious award highlights Barnsley's diverse and attractive entertainment, dining, and culture offer, all while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of residents and visitors in the evening and night-time economy.
Key successes in Barnsley's submission include the historical Market and Glass Works developments, which have seen an impressive 22% increase in footfall in 2023, compared to the UK average of 3.3%.
Judges were impressed with the commitment and buy-in for Purple Flag by the town’s bars, restaurants and venues.
Barnsley’s extensive events programme includes the Flavours Food Festival, which saw a 22% increase in footfall in 2023 compared to the previous year, and the return of the town’s Christmas Market. The Bright Nights festival, an evening event including an illuminated parade, light projection, and Christmas light switch-on saw a 27% increase in footfall compared to 2022.
The continuous recognition of our town centre as a safe and vibrant place has also been a contributing factor that helped us to receive two Council of the Year awards in 2023.
Cllr Sir Steve Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council, said: "The Purple Flag accreditation is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved in making Barnsley's evening and night-time economy a success.
“It showcases the effectiveness of our collaborative efforts and the commitment of our partners to create a town centre that is not only safe but also offers a diverse and vibrant experience for all. Barnsley truly is a welcoming, safe and inclusive place to visit, day or night."
Securing a Purple Flag for the fifth consecutive year is a collaboration of many organisations and individuals. Annual training conducted with Night-Time Economy staff, taxi and marshal services, night angels, the Ask for Angela safety scheme, and the development of Barnsley’s Violence Against Women and Girls agenda - all played a part in creating a safe and enjoyable town centre.
The collaborative work between services and partners from both public and private sectors continues to be strong as we're all working toward a shared goal. The partnership includes Doyle Security, South Yorkshire Police, Barnsley Council licensing, Violence Reduction Unit, Barnsley Hospital, Trading Standards, Safer Neighbourhood Service, Street Pastors, Barnsley Recovery Steps, and licensed premises and staff. The fifth in a row Purple Flag award is a real testament to the collective energy and time invested in our town centre.