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City nightlife hoping to fly the flag again for Swansea

SWANSEA'S nightlife scene is bidding to keep the Purple Flag flying here for a fifth consecutive year.

Purple flag logo

Our city is one of only two places in Wales that can fly the Purple Flag which highlights how visitors can expect an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out whenever they come.

And now the partnership behind the project has put its bid in to maintain Purple Flag status into 2019, highlighting a wide range of reasons why the city centre is the place to be now and in the future.

Assessors will visit Swansea on the evening of Saturday, August 10, and will visit a number of premises and services, asking staff and other personnel questions.

As a national initiative run by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), Purple Flag status rewards vibrant, diverse and safe city centres with a quality mark that's the equivalent of Blue Flags for beaches and Green Flags for parks.

Swansea city centre was first awarded the status in 2015 in recognition of the excellence of its evening and night-time economy between 5pm and 5am. 

This year's bid highlights the success stories of the past year, including patrols by street pastors who help identify and keep vulnerable people safe and remove hazards, the presence of night time rangers who work key evenings to deal with visitor queries, and the work of taxi marshalls who help manage queues at night to ensure people get home safety. 

The bid also points to success stories such as late-night bus services operating from the city centre, a spot-cleaning operation that fast tracks cleansing issues and a Drink Less Enjoy More multi-media campaign.

Partners involved in the management of Swansea's evening and night-time economy include Swansea Council, Swansea BID (Business Improvement District), South Wales Police, Swansea Street Pastors, St John Ambulance, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, many city centre businesses, Swansea Bay University Health Board, Coastal Housing and several local developers.

Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: "We're very optimistic about retaining Purple Flag status though achieving this quality mark is no easy ride.

"The partnership has to prove the city centre is a vibrant and viable place, providing evidence of fresh ideas that keep visitors coming back for more as well as strategic investment in facilities and future development.

"The benefits for night-time visitors are worth the effort because the results of the team's efforts mean that great new initiatives have a chance to flourish so everyone has a great time out in a safe environment."

Examples of city centre improvements introduced in recent years include a medical help point on The Strand dealing with injuries and those at risk from intoxication, a drop-off point on The Strand providing a vehicle drop-off and visitor meet-and-greet service, and a Safe Spaces unit offering customers information and support to help deal with vulnerability.

Swansea Council is transforming The Kingsway into a greener, pedestrian-friendly destination - and this forms part of the bid. A feasibility study called Reimagining Wind Street has been agreed as the physical regeneration strategy for area.

The Purple Flag partners will find out later in the year whether or not the city has retained the quality mark status.



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