COLCHESTER has joined an elite list of locations across the world which have been praised for offering a safe place for people to enjoy a night out. 

The city is celebrating after receiving the Purple Flag accreditation which only 100 destinations have. 

It recognises the city's commitment to creating a “dynamic, secure, and vibrant” evening and night-time location.

Purple Flags, like Blue Flag for beaches, aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am.

The prestigious award highlights Colchester's blend of entertainment, dining, and culture, all while ensuring the safety and well-being of residents and visitors in the evening and night-time economy. 

The Purple Flag Accreditation was submitted by Our Colchester Business Improvement District (BID) and Colchester Leisure Recovery Board alongside a wealth of programmes focused on the night-time economy.

These include the Best Bar None accreditation for individual premises, Ask for Angela, Vulnerability Training and more. 

Key successes in Colchester's Purple Flag submission include the strength of its partnership approach, with work between the S.O.S Bus, Pubwatch, Colbac, City Centre CCTV team and Colchester City Council cleansing team.

Chief executive of Our Colchester BID Sam Good said: “We have been delivering a programme of safety interventions over the past year to ensure visitors and staff feel safe at all times.

“From our nationally acclaimed Ask for Angela project through to Vulnerability & First Aid Training for premises.

“The icing on the cake has to be Colchester being awarded the Purple Flag accreditation to celebrate the strength of the partnership working in the City Centre in delivering a safe environment for those using it."

There are just 100 Purple Flag destinations around the globe.

From world-renowned tourist destinations to small market towns, destinations are found across the UK, Ireland, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

Colchester council leader David King added: “I am delighted Colchester has been awarded the Purple Flag accreditation for 2023.

“I congratulate Colchester businesses on this prestigious award, which recognises the hard work and dedication of everyone who works so hard to make our city a safe, vibrant, and enjoyable place to be in the evening and night-time."