Purple Flag Accreditation

Guildford is proud to have been awarded the much coveted Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy for a third consecutive year, having received its first award in October 2013. Guildford is one of more than 65 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who proudly fly the Purple Flag and is currently the only town in Surrey to have gained such accreditation.

The Purple Flag – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – aims to raise the standards and broaden the appeal of the town and city centres between the hours of 5.00pm and 5.00am. Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and well-being of visitors and local residents.

Purple Flag accredited towns and cities have also all reported a consistent increase in footfall and decrease in crime within the evening and night time economy. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) working alongside the Purple Flag Advisory Committee – a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors, Diageo Great Britain.

The Guildford Town Purple Flag Partnership, coordinated by Stuart Craggs, night-time economy manager at Experience Guildford, the town centre’s Business Improvement District (BID), and led by Councillor Graham Ellwood, Lead Councillor for Licensing and Community Safety, were responsible for driving and delivering a third term Purple Flag accreditation. Alongside Experience Guildford and Guildford Borough Council, the partnership also includes Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Guildford Pubwatch, Guildford Street Angels and the night-time venues of Guildford.

Guildford’s commitment and continued efforts to reduce alcohol-related crime and disorder were praised by assessors, as was its diverse mix of food and drinks establishments on offer. In terms of collectively tackling crime, Guildford was praised for the introduction of a ‘Guildford Town Crime Reduction Partnership’, led by Experience Guildford in associated with Guildford Borough Council, Surrey Police and Guildford Pubwatch, comprising of over 180 businesses within the town. Improved signage via a newly introduced wayfinder system throughout the town was commended, as was a night bus funded by the University of Surrey with support from Arriva Bus Company to improve student safety.

About Purple Flag

The Purple Flag programme was developed following the Civic Trust’s “Night Vision” report in 2006, and is now managed by the Association of Town & City Management.

Purple Flag is:

• An accreditation process similar to Green Flag Award for parks and Blue Flag for beaches. It leads to Purple Flag status for town centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.
• A comprehensive set of standards, management processes and good practice examples designed to help transform town and city centres at night.
• A research, training and development programme, to help towns and cities improve their evening and night-time economy.
• A positive initiative that indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.



Our beautiful iconic Castle bathed in Purple