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Shrewsbury celebrates purple flag status

Shrewsbury is celebrating after achieving prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy. Purple Flag is a town and city centre award - similar to the Blue Flag for beaches - which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres after 6pm. Since 2007, the programme has awarded Purple Flag status to 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. The programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain.

In the Purple Flag report Shrewsbury is scored against five key criteria - Wellbeing, Broad Appeal, Movement, the Place as a destination and Policy (the sense of collaboration and purpose between sectors, agencies, service providers and policy makers). The Purple Flag assessors described Shrewsbury as a 'very safe and secure town' and highlighted the town's mix of unique and quirky venues, independent and chain bars and real ale offer, with over 20 venues CAMRA listed. The report also commended Team Shrewsbury and its strong partnership approach to improving and responding to issues in town. Team Shrewsbury includes Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council, Shrewsbury BID, West Mercia Police and Shrewsbury Street Pastors.

Shrewsbury BID Executive Director Kirsten Henly said: "We are extremely proud to be able to fly the Purple Flag in recognition of everyone involved our evening and night time economy, from the restaurateurs, musicians and comedians to the Police and street pastors. We're delighted that national assessors complimented the town on its diverse offer and co-ordinated, partnership approach.

West Mercia Deputy PCC Barrie Sheldon added: "This award is great news for Shrewsbury, and a ringing endorsement for the excellent work done to make the town an even safer, happier and healthier place. We have made tackling business crime a priority and have been involved in an innovative new partnership approach to managing the community. This Purple Flag award helps illustrate how successful that approach has been so far and I hope the benefits it brings for the whole town will only further improve things."

Town Clerk, Helen Ball said: "We are delighted to have achieved Purple Flag accreditation in recognition of the ongoing excellence of Shrewsbury town centre.

"Purple Flag is the gold standard for town and city centres at night and to receive this award reflects the hard work of Team Shrewsbury partners to make Shrewsbury a desirable, and safe, night-time destination for people of all ages."

Superintendent David McWilliam said: "This is great news for the town and its residents. Police in Shrewsbury have worked hard with our partner organisations and the wider community to ensure the town is a safe and fun place to go out. This will always be one of the key objectives of the Team Shrewsbury partnership model that the police are an integral part of. It is especially pleasing that the very strong and visible presence in Shrewsbury has been acknowledged as playing a key role in keeping the town safe, including Sgt Richard Coles who was mentioned by assessors for his dedication and service to the town centre community."

Shrewsbury will officially receive its Purple Flag at an awards ceremony on 25th February in Aylesbury Vale.

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