Carrick on Shannon Chamber of Commerce are delighted to be involved with Leitrim County Council in helping to bring ‘Purple Flag’ Status to Carrick on Shannon. The Purple Flag is an accreditation for town centre that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy, it indicates an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out and helps attract more business and tourists into our town.
The initial Kick-start Purple Flag Workshop held in May 2015 was well attended in the LCC Chamber with representatives from all sectors including LCC, Chamber, An Garda Siochana, accommodation, pubs, restaurants, Residents, Tourism & Leisure providers and the Arts who all agreed to work together in achieving this Award for the town. A number of Steering Groups from all Sectors of the Community were set up from this Workshop headed by Nollaig Whyte from Leitrim County Council who have worked tirelessly and diligently on this since its inception.
At the core of the application process is an evaluation of the eventing and night time entertainment by our town itself with the assistance of the Purple Flag Academy team, which was a useful and self-critical tool designed to strengthen collaboration and awareness of the issues as well as the positive aspects of the experience between 5pm and 5am.
The unique Carrick Ambassador Scheme run in conjunction with the Chamber and funded by the businesses in the town has been an enormous help in our bid to get Purple Flag accreditation. A team of 6 workers are employed to keep the town clean and tidy between the hours of 10pm and 5am on Friday and Saturday nights on a normal week and Sunday also on bank holiday weekends. They collect litter and remove bottles, glasses and leave the town ready for businesses, visitors and local residents the following morning.
The Purple Flag status is the ‘gold standard’ for night time destinations. Like the blue flag for beaches we will be able to prove we are welcoming to everyone, offer safe ways for visitors and those living here to travel home after dark and provide a good mix of venues and entertainment for young and old alike. Purple Flag towns benefit from more visitors, lower crime and anti-social behaviour with improved perceptions of the town centre.
The areas we were assessed under are as follows:-
- Wellbeing – in terms of safety and care.
- Movement – transport and car parking.
- Appeal – restaurants, bars, other venues including arts and culture.
- Place – location and design and most importantly
- Policy Envelope- which shows collaboration between sectors, agencies, service providers and policy makers.
The Assessors visited our town at the end of August and we have just received their decision that Carrick on Shannon has achieved Purple Flag status. Ten Towns in Ireland have already been awarded the Purple Flag and Carrick on Shannon is now the smallest town in the North West to receive this status. This is an incredible achievement and an example of the Town working together. Carrick Chamber are delighted to be co funders of this Project with Leitrim County Council.
For more information on Purple Flag click onto http://www.atcm.org/index.php.