Chester has retained the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation for its evening and night-time economy.

Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents. The city first achieved Purple Flag status in 2018.

Highlights from Chester’s submission included the varied range of events providing something for everyone, the positive impact of increased pedestrianisation areas, and the stunning ‘Once a Desert’ installation at Chester Cathedral.

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 and City Management.

Councillor Karen Shore, Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, said:

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Chester continues to attract attention across the country, the latest survey has placed Chester among the top 10 most fashion-forward cities in the UK.

Footfall in Chester showed an 18.5 per cent increase in 2022 with over 16 million visitors recorded. Whilst footfall across the whole country still hasn't recovered from the pandemic, the counters at Northgate showed a 7 per cent increase in footfall in December compared with 2019 figures thanks to Storyhouse, the new Chester market and the Christmas market.

We will be celebrating the Purple Flag status on 17-19 February by lighting the Eastgate Clock, Town Hall and Newgate purple. We have retained Purple Flag thanks to the many partners, teams, and businesses working together to keep our city safe and welcoming.

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Carl Crichlow, Chester BID, Chief Executive Officer, said:

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Chester's night-time economy continues to go from strength to strength with new bars and restaurants opening and expanding, therefore it's important that the city is safe and well managed to ensure a positive customer experience. To secure Purple Flag status for a fifth year is a huge achievement and testament to the hard work of all the partners involved.

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Keeping the city safe is a partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Chester BID, Cheshire Police, Chester Against Business Crime, Pubwatch, the University of Chester, Chester Residents’ Associations Group, and several third sector groups.