Similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, the Purple Flag aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between 5pm and 5am.
The annual award, made by the National Association of Town & City Management, assesses qualities such as safety, diversity, vibrancy, accessibility, cleanliness and partnership working, and it gives positive reassurance to those people planning a night out in the town.
Highlights from Cheltenham’s submission included recognition for its safety and care, its choice of food and dining venues, its vibrant arts and culture scene and the appeal of its attractive, well-used public spaces and active streets.
The assessors especially commended the work of the Cheltenham Guardians, a self-funded organisation that goes above and beyond to provide a vital safety net for vulnerable women in the town centre at night.
Colin Pilsworth, night-time economy coordinator for Cheltenham Borough Council and coordinator for Purple Flag in Cheltenham, said: “I am particularly pleased that Cheltenham has been assessed as excellent/outstanding in respect of public safety and care.
“Visitors to the town centre in the evening and into the night can be assured that Cheltenham is a safe and well-managed destination. This has been achieved by strong partnership working between the police, the borough council and the hospitality trade and the invaluable support of groups such as the Cheltenham Guardians and the Street Pastors which are now in their fourteenth year of operation.”
Cllr Martin Horwood, cabinet member for customer and regulatory services, said: “Cheltenham is a fabulous place for a night out whether you’re eating out, clubbing or going to a show – and we work really hard to make these nights as safe as possible so that everyone has a positive experience.
“Cheltenham’s nighttime economy continues to go from strength to strength with new bars and restaurants continuing to open and expand. I want to congratulate our local businesses, the council team and all of our local partners on winning the Purple Flag yet again. It is an amazing achievement for everyone involved.”