The Guildford Town Purple Flag Partnership Group (GTPFP) is led by Guildford Borough Council and Experience Guildford (the town’s Business Improvement District), includes a broad range of town and county organisations including Surrey Police, the Safer Guildford Partnership, Street Angels and Guildford Pub watch.
Lead Councillor for Licensing, Environmental Health and Protection and Community Safety, Cllr Graham Ellwood, said: "We are extremely pleased to receive this prestigious award for the fifth year in a row. It means we are not only recognised as one of the safest but also one of the most thriving towns in the county. I’d like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and dedication to the town.
He added: “Safety is a large part of the assessment and we have put a variety of initiatives in place. Behave or be Banned was introduced by Experience Guildford, in partnership with Guildford Pubwatch and Surrey Police in 2013, and has resulted in a 25% reduction in reported alcohol related anti-social behaviour. The first Best Bar None awards were launched in February 2014 by Experience Guildford, recognising and rewarding venues that demonstrate best practice and the taxi marshals have done much to reduce disturbances at taxi ranks during weekends.”
Amanda Masters, Manager at Experience Guildford agreed: “It’s an amazing achievement to be awarded the Purple Flag again and it will have a positive impact on the town’s existing reputation as one of the top destinations in the South East. With over 100 places to eat, three theatres, three shopping centres and one cinema, Guildford comes alive after 5pm and caters for all ages and tastes. Purple Flag is a brand customers trust when choosing a night out as it further increases the town’s appeal for current and potential businesses moving into the borough."
Purple Flag launched in 2012 and is run by The Association of Town Centre Management. It uses an accreditation process similar to Green Flag for parks and Blue Flag for beaches and provides residents and visitors with reassurance that they are choosing a safe night out in a vibrant town offering a wide range of activities.
This year, the GTPFP as part of ongoing collaboration work, launched an annual public perception study for visitors and residents. The 2018 survey found 93% of respondents ‘felt safe while out in Guildford’ and a third of those asked had heard of the accreditation. Next year the group aims to further increase awareness of the Purple Flag and develop existing links with the Further and Higher Education organisations in the borough to promote collaborations.