Reading Flies the Purple Flag Again in 2023

Reading town centre businesses are officially celebrating after receiving news that its vibrant night-time economy (ENTE) has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag accreditation. The award, which is similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am.

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 local residents.

Reading BID, working closely with licenced premises, Council safety and licencing teams, neighbourhood and licencing Police colleagues, volunteers from Street Pastors and First Stop, South Central Ambulance Service paramedics, as well as Reading Buses and the University have been recognised for creating a cohesive partnership in the town centre.  Working together, the partnership has been able to respond to issues proactively and collaboratively, planning together around large sporting and annual events, ensuring licenced premises have the support needed to deal with a vibrant night-time economy. 

As part of its support for Reading’s night-time economy,  Reading BID has sourced and supplied 11 defibrillators that are now placed in key late-night venues, thousands of drink testing kits, hi-viz tabards for door staff, Best Bar None audits, cardboard recycling, Ask for Angela posters and guidance, and door-way and pavement deep cleaning.  These many and varied services go towards assisting venues with their operations and improving the visitor experience of those coming to enjoy Reading’s  great nightlife.

Purple Flag assessors said that highlights from Reading’s submission included evidence of a strong partnership with clear buy-in from both the public and private sector, engaged and responsible attitudes towards customer care from the hospitality venues, and a good mix of activity and offer.

Alexa Volker, Reading BIDs Manager said

"We are proud of the partnerships we have developed in support of Reading’s night-time economy and all they have achieved, and were pleased to show the assessors around our town during the overnight assessment.  Venues demonstrated the importance they place on the safety and security of all visitors and staff across the broad range of offerings of a night out in Reading, which includes escape rooms, theatres, bars and clubs, live music, cafés and fine dining, bowling and lessons in playing steel pan."

Chief Inspector Emma Tompkins said

“I am delighted to see that the hard work and passion of our Reading Partnerships have been recognised in this prestigious Purple Flag Award.  We were very proud to show the assessors the efforts that TVP, working with our partners, will go to in continuing to keep Reading a safe place for everyone to enjoy an evening out. #OneReading”

Cllr Karen Rowland, Lead Member for Environmental Services and Community Safety, said:

"This well-deserved Purple Flag award is not just about the fact that we are working hard to ensure our night-time offerings are safe for everyone, but it also celebrates the vibrancy and diversity of our evening and night-time offer. Having won the award before, this is proof that Reading’s team never rests on its laurels. I’m pleased that the good work continues apace in a strengthened focus on ensuring that women and young people feel secure in taking advantage of the ever-increasing options available in Reading.  Reading can be justifiably proud to have earned this award, achieved by many people and organisations working closely together, and I congratulate everyone involved for their hard work to gain this accreditation.”

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