Sligo first applied for a Purple Fag in 2015 and was the 10th destination in the Republic of Ireland the prestigious award (Green Flag for parks, Blue Flags for beaches – Purple Flag for towns and cities). There are currently 70 destinations across the UK and Ireland that are flag holders and must apply and be assessed annually to retain the award. The award is trademarked to the Association of Town and City Management (UK and Ireland and the criteria for assessment was based on 5 years academic research in place management and analysis of the evening and night time economy (ENTE).
Winning the award has proven positive impacts such as:
- A raised profile and an improved public image for the location
- A wider patronage, increased expenditure
- Lower crime and anti-social behaviour
- A more successful mixed use economy in the longer term
As the governing body, ATCM has set out the core agenda at the heart of Purple Flag which represents the standards that must be achieved and maintained for a accreditation, which in turn will lead to a successful evening economy.
These five core standards are:
- The Policy Envelope: An after-hours policy that shows a clear strategy based on sound research, integrated public policy and a successful multi-sector partnership.
- Wellbeing: Successful destinations are all safe and welcoming with all sectors playing their part in delivering high standards of customer care.
- Movement: Getting home safely after an evening out is crucial, as is the ability to move around the centre on foot with ease.
- Appeal: Successful destinations offer a vibrant choice of leisure and entertainment for a diversity of ages, groups, lifestyles and cultures.
- Place: Successful areas are alive during the day, as well as in the evening. They contain a blend of overlapping activities that encourage people to mingle and enjoy the place. They reinforce the character and identity of the area as well as flair and imagination in urban design for the night.
The Sligo Team is recognised nationally as one of the strongest and committed teams in the country and this was recognised by winning the ATCM award for partnership in 2017, selected for the launch of the Department of Job, Enterprise and Employment, Framework for Town Centre Renewal (link to doc) and the first destination in the UK and ROI to include a third level institution in the Purple Flag Zone.
The Team is made up of local businesses, Council staff, Gardai, Taxi Drivers, HFI members, Vintners members, RAI members and is supported by Sligo Tourism, Sligo Chamber, IT Sligo, Sligo Tidy towns, Sligo Food trail. Sligo is fortunate to have two accredited Purple Flag assessors as team members Pat Grimes of Bistro Bianconi and Gail McGibbon of Sligo Business Improvement District. Gail also represents the ROI towns and cities on both the Advisory Council and Board of the Association of Town and City Management, a 750 membership organisation headquartered in London, UK.