Co-ordinated approach between council, chamber and gardaí key to securing flag
Limerick city centre has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag for its excellence in managing 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 between the hours of 5.00pm and 5.00am.
The Purple Flag is an international accreditation scheme for towns and city centres and is the ‘Gold Standard’ for evening and night time destinations. To achieve the flag towns and cities must prove themselves in 30 criteria that are all relevant to the evening and night time economy. The Purple Flag is a positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, well-managed and enjoyable night out.
Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.
There has been a co-ordinated approach between Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Chamber and An Garda Síochána to develop the evening and night-time offering in the city centre which has helped in securing the award for Limerick.
Cllr Michael Hourigan, Mayor of the Metropolitan District of Limerick said: “Limerick has always been known for its wonderful night-life and I’m delighted that it is being recognised with the awarding of the prestigious Purple Flag. The flag means that those on a night out in Limerick can expect the highest standards while enjoying themselves in a well-managed environment. A big well done to those involved in securing the Purple Flag for Limerick, your work will pay off into the future.”
Dr James Ring, Chief Executive of Limerick Chamber also welcomed the announcement: “This has been in the planning since summer 2015 when Conn Murray and I announced our intention to get the Purple Flag. Since then there has been a strong group of chamber members, council workers and gardaí working quietly behind the scenes to make this happen. It's been tough work but it shows how collaborations between the public and private sectors can be very successful, and now we can look proudly at the Purple Flag map and see Limerick take its place."
Conn Murray, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council said: “We are working hard to make Limerick city centre more attractive for citizens and visitors alike. The Purple Flag is recognition of the standards that we have achieved. In order to build a strong region, we must have a strong city centre core. There is a significant amount of investment going on in the city centre under the Limerick Twenty Thirty plan and the revitalisation of O’Connell Street. We want to be able to harness this go work to provide a city for everyone. The partnership approach to development is working and this can be demonstrated with the Purple Flag award. The council, businesses and the gardaí have all co-operated to see Limerick get the accreditation.”
Chief Superintendent David Sheahan of An Garda Síochána said: “We have worked with the local authority and businesses to help get the Purple Flag for Limerick. It is important that people enjoying a night out in the city centre know the area is well managed and has certain standards. We have all been working behind the scenes to secure the Purple Flag for Limerick and the success shows the level of co-operation that takes place on a daily basis to ensure Limerick is the place where people want to live, work and play.”
The Purple Flag accreditation is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM). Purple Flag areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the evening and night-time economy.