Purple Flag

Guildford celebrated its fourth-year success in achieving the much coveted Purple Flag for its evening and night-time economy in 2017. The only town in Surrey to have gained such an accreditation, Guildford is one of around 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who proudly fly the Purple Flag.

The Purple Flag – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – aims to raise the standards and broaden the appeal of 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.

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.

Along with Experience Guildford, the Guildford Town Purple Flag Partnership includes representatives from Guildford Borough Council, led by Councillor Graham Ellwood, Lead Councillor for Licensing and Community Safety, Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue, Guildford Pubwatch, Guildford Street Angels and the night-time venues of the town.

Collectively they have worked to raise the profile of the town and its evening and night-time economy, reducing alcohol-related crime and disorder and improving visitor safety. Key initiatives highlighted by the Purple Flag assessors include the introduction of the ‘Guildford Business Crime Reduction Partnership’, comprising of over 200 businesses within the town, a night bus funded by the University of Surrey with support from Arriva Bus Company to improve student safety and a ‘Safe Bus’ offering on the spot medical care and attention in the town during key busy times.

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.


The beautiful Castle bathed in purple.