Kettering town centre retains award for vibrant evening economy

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Kettering town centre has been awarded the ‘Purple Flag’ for a second time.

The award – similar to the Green Flag for parks and green spaces and the Blue Flag for beaches – will be presented at an awards ceremony which will take place next month in Bournemouth.

The Purple Flag scheme recognises excellence in managing a thriving, safe and vibrant evening economy in the town centre.

It assesses a wide range of factors including visitor attractions, things to do, levels of lighting, the clarity of signage, the level of crime and cleanliness standards.

Martin Hammond, executive director at Kettering Council, said: “I am delighted that Kettering’s town centre has once again been recognised as a welcoming and well managed place to visit in the evening.

“The Purple Flag award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer.

“This is a huge achievement for a market town to be presented with such an award and would not have been possible without the help of local businesses, street pastors, Kettering police and Pubwatch.”

Insp Julie Mead from Northamptonshire Police said: “Purple Flag is a prestigious award that recognises excellence in town centre management and forms a valuable contribution to making Northamptonshire the safest place in the country. “This is recognition of the enormous amount of work and effort which has gone into securing the award, and proves what can be achieved when people work hard together.

“The people of Kettering have demonstrated how our town centres can be attractive, safe places which more people will want to visit and enjoy.”

Kettering was first awarded the Purple Flag in 2015 and it has been renewed after assessors from Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) came to visit the town centre and experienced first-hand the night-time offering.

The assessment team were shown the facilities on offer for the evening visitor, including restaurants, entertainment and culture as well as the pubs and clubs and how they were managed.

They also undertook research about Kettering town centre and interviewed various people before they conducted their overnight inspection.

Jamie Lane, chairman of Kettering Pubwatch, said: “We want more and more people to come into Kettering town centre at night to have an enjoyable evening and to relax and feel safe.

“The Purple Flag award continues to show the fruits of a lot of hard work that has taken place to improve the night time experience for visitors to Kettering.”

Don Spooner, Kettering Street Pastors co-ordinator, said: “Congratulations to the partnership from Kettering Street Pastors on the town centre’s successful re-accreditation application, making sure Kettering continues to lead the way in having Purple Flag status for their night time economy.

“Well done to all those involved.”