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Cymraeg

Swansea flies the flag again for a good night out

SWANSEA city centre has successfully retained prestigious Purple Flag status for 2019.

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Run by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), Purple Flag status rewards city centres where visitors can expect an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

Swansea city centre was first awarded the status four years ago in recognition of the excellence of its evening and night-time economy from 5pm-5am.

Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council's cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: "It's great to have retained the prestigious Purple Flag; it's another significant feather in our cap as we celebrate our first 50 years as a city.

"The success reflects all the hard work by partners that helps make the city centre evening and night-time visiting experience as vibrant, safe, diverse and enjoyable as possible.

"We have won the status every year since 2015 and were determined to gain the recognition again. All partners work together on our Purple Flag bid and on driving a strategy for the continuous improvement of our city centre's evening and night-time economy. All partners involved deserve huge credit.

Partners involved in the management of Swansea's evening and night-time economy include Swansea Council, Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), South Wales Police, Swansea Street Pastors, St Johns Ambulance, The Swansea Fringe, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, many city centre businesses, the Swansea Bay University Health Board (formerly ABMU), Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Coastal Housing and several developers.

The council's city centre manager Lisa Wells said: "This year's bid highlighted the success stories of the past year.

"These included patrols by street pastors who help identify and keep vulnerable people safe and remove hazards, the presence of new night-time rangers who work key evenings to deal with visitor queries, and the work of taxi marshals who help manage queues at night to ensure people get home safety. 

"The bid also pointed to success stories such as the medical Help Point and Drop Off Point both on The Strand, late-night bus services operating from the city centre, a spot-cleaning operation that fast tracks cleansing issues and a Drink Less Enjoy More multi-media campaign. The implementation of the Best Bar None scheme, which accredits venues on their safety and management practices together with the introduction of a trial one-way traffic system on Wind Street, also supported this year's bid."

South Wales Police Chief Inspector Geraint White said: "We are delighted our work with partners in relation to the night-time economy in Swansea has once again be recognised by the Purple Flag."

Swansea BID chief executive Russell Greenslade said: "The Purple Flag is a hallmark of quality and safety and I'm delighted to see Swansea fly it again for 2019. 

"Purple Flag accreditation does much to enhance Swansea's reputation. I'm proud of the hard work of our dedicated evening and night-time economy officer, taxi marshals, rangers, cleansing team and our city centre businesses who have put a lot of work into incorporating the award's principles into everything they do.

"This was highlighted too by the recent Best Bar None Awards scheme we hosted in the city centre; this recognised some of the night-time businesses that keep public safety front of mind at all times.  

"This year is important for the city centre in many ways, not least because of the exciting regeneration work that is pressing ahead; this will make our city an even more attractive place to live, work, study, visit and, importantly, to invest."

Sarah Walker, Purple Flag programme manager at the ATCM, said: "There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation.

"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 working together in a strong partnership. Swansea is a great example of this. Congratulations once again on all the hard work."

Photo: A scene from Swansea's night-time economy.

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