Purple flag for 'gold standard' Wextord town
Wexford Town proudly raised its new Purple Flag for the first time on home turf last week in a ceremony at the Irish National Heritage Park.
The Purple Flag is a town and city centre award, which is similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, is awarded to towns and cities judged to meet certain criteria for vibrant and safe evening and night time economies.
They are viewed as the 'gold standard' for night-time destinations, with towns and cities required to meet 30 different stringent criteria, including decreasing crime statistics, appropriate transport, a vibrant appeal, a stimulating destination and a strong partnership with the community.
Wexford's purple flag was hoisted for the first time by Wexford's Deputy Mayor Cllr Tony Dempsey, at the celebratory evening, at which he said it was another milestone for Wexford, and a great credit to the team who have driven the project to completion.
'Towns and cities that have been awarded Purple Flag status have reported increased sales and additional evening events and activities,' he said and Wexford is optimistic of winning more business as a result of the acceditation.
Cllr Dempsey said Wexford is planning more events and projects for the year ahead and is encouraging all businesses in the town to display the Purple Flag logo on their websites and on their email signatures.
'This is a hugely important accreditation for our town and it should be broadcast across all sectors,' he said.
Madeleine Quirke, CEO Wexford Chamber, said she was delighted to see Wexford join the very select group of Irish towns who have been awarded Purple Flag status, which could mean a lot of additional income flowing into the town.
'This achievement is the result of 12 months collaborative work by Wexford Chamber, Wexford County Council, the gardai and other key partners throughout the town. The award shows Wexford has been judged as surpassing standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy, and it demonstrates in an independent and public manner that the town offers an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.'
Shanaaz Carroll, the CEO of the awarding authority, the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), said there are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag.
'The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer. This can only be achieved by people from the local community working together and we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.'