York Achieves Purple Flag Status for Nighttime Excellence

in York

York has successfully renewed its Purple Flag status following a thorough 12-hour overnight assessment, affirming its position as a top destination for evening and late-night activities. The prestigious Purple Flag, awarded by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), recognises cities that offer vibrant, diverse, and safe experiences from early evening into the night.

Ensuring Safety and Diversity

The renewal of York’s Purple Flag status shows the city’s commitment to safety, diversity, cleanliness, and vibrancy. York BID, now responsible for the administration of Purple Flag, highlights the collaborative efforts that contribute to this accolade.

BID Street Rangers, in partnership with North Yorkshire Police (NYP), play a crucial role in maintaining a secure environment. Additionally, York’s varied food and drink options, along with non-alcoholic evening activities, cater to a wide range of preferences, enhancing the city’s appeal.

Key Themes of Evaluation

To secure the Purple Flag renewal, York was assessed on five key themes: wellbeing, movement, appeal, place, and policy.


This theme focuses on how welcoming, clean, and safe York is. The city excels in providing a secure atmosphere through measures like a robust CCTV system and the efforts of volunteer groups such as the River Rescue Team, which ensures safety along the riverbanks after dark.


Movement evaluates the ease of navigating the city. York’s efficient public transport, ample car parking, and pedestrian-friendly routes make it easy for residents and visitors to move around the city centre.


York’s appeal lies in its vibrant mix of leisure and entertainment options. The city offers something for everyone, from diverse dining experiences to cultural activities, ensuring an engaging nighttime economy.


Promoting a strong sense of local identity, York leverages its rich built heritage through initiatives like the Colour & Light project. These efforts not only enhance the city’s aesthetic appeal but also foster a unique nighttime atmosphere.


A clear strategy and multi-sector partnership are essential for maintaining a well-managed, safe, and inclusive nighttime environment. York’s Purple Flag working group exemplifies this collaborative approach, involving stakeholders from various sectors to ensure continuous improvement.

Collaborative Efforts

The success of York’s Purple Flag status is a testament to the city-wide partnership working across the evening and nighttime economy. Key partners include York BID, City of York Council (CYC), North Yorkshire Police (NYP), Eboracum, Safer York Business Partnership, and York Rescue Boat, among others. These collaborations are crucial for enhancing the nighttime experience for both residents and visitors.

Community Leaders Speak

Carl Alsop, Operations Manager at York BID, expressed his pride in the city’s achievement:

“This status isn’t something the city have given themselves; it is an international accolade given by the Association of Town and City Management on the back of a thorough assessment from two independent qualified assessors – in this case from two different countries.”

Cllr. Claire Douglas, Leader of City of York Council, highlighted the significance of the renewal:

“This renewed accreditation cements York’s city centre as one of the UK’s best-loved and top-rated destinations. It’s a fantastic accolade and confirms what we and our millions of visitors know as a safe, welcoming, and beautiful place to visit day and night.”

About York BID and Purple Flag

York BID supports local businesses by enhancing the city centre environment and promoting a vibrant nighttime economy. Their initiatives, including Colour & Light, Taxi Marshals, Street Rangers, and Street Cleansing, contribute significantly to maintaining York as a safe and welcoming destination.

Purple Flag is an international accreditation from the ATCM, akin to the Blue Flag award for beaches, and recognizes town and city centres that excel in managing the evening and nighttime economy. Achieving Purple Flag status involves meeting rigorous standards and implementing best practices to ensure a thriving nighttime environment.

For more information about York BID and Purple Flag initiatives, visit the York BID website or contact info@theyorkbid.com.

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