Sheffield Keeps Purple Patch Credentials

Sheffield city centre at night, image courtesy of XU Dong Photography

Purple Flag, first given to Sheffield in 2012, is a town and city centre award which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between 6pm – 6am.

Sheffield was the first city in Yorkshire to receive the Purple Flag award and since then, the council has worked with partners across the city to deliver the best possible evening experience and retain the city’s Purple Flag status.

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.

In Sheffield this is delivered through strong partnership working between Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield BID, Amey and the city’s night time businesses, all sharing the same goal of attracting more people to enjoy a safe night-time experience. The award is given following an independent assessment which took place in December.


Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We work hard with partners across the city to provide an exciting, varied and safe place for people to shop, eat, drink, dance, relax and socialise, so it’s brilliant to see that Sheffield has been recognised nationally once again with the Purple Flag award.

“Sheffield is a unique city with so much to offer people of all ages and interests. Our varied mix of nightlife includes bars and restaurants, theatres, live music pubs, real ale trails, nightclubs and more, and each bring something different to suit the diverse needs of our culturally rich population. 

“The 2018 festive period was one of our busiest yet, with the streets and venues heaving with shoppers and late night party-goers. This was very well managed thanks to the excellent partnerships we’ve developed in Sheffield, with SYP, Sheffield BID and our local night-time businesses and we will continue working closely together to make sure the Purple Flag keeps on flying proudly in Sheffield.”


Cllr Mazher Iqbal, Cabinet Member for Business and Investment said: “It’s brilliant news that Sheffield has received full renewal of our Purple Flag status for the eighth year. We have invested heavily in to improving the city centre and as you look on The Moor and at the Heart of the City development, the progress is clear to see.

“Projects like these ensure that our leisure, entertainment and shopping offer keeps getting better and attracting more people to enjoy our vibrant city centre. Improved public spaces instil pride in residents and businesses and this leads to a cleaner, safer environment for everyone. Things are on the up in Sheffield city centre and I look forward to seeing where we are in another year’s time.”


The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works alongside a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain.

Sarah Walker Purple Flag Programme Manager at the ATCM said: “Fantastic to see Sheffield retain their Purple Flag accreditation at full renewal and seeing some of the great work that is going on in the area. The commitment to the Purple Flag programme by the stakeholders working together to ensure a safer Evening and Night Time destination should be commended.

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

Comments from Sheffield’s Purple Flag assessors report include:

  • Exceptional coordinated delivery of customer care and safeguarding
  • Sheffield is nationally recognised as one of the best Best Bar None schemes and acts as an advisory to many schemes across the UK, currently in the running for Best overall BBN scheme and Most Innovative Scheme
  • A very good eating destination, excellent mix of independent and national brands, culturally diverse
  • Crossover from evening to night to late night is seamless with the six theatres or live music  venues and bars onto the  major late night destinations
  • A well-kept and historically well-presented city
  • A thriving digital arts culture driven by the university presence along with literature festivals, culturally Sheffield is vibrant and appealing
  • Without doubt, one of the most cohesive Purple Flag partnerships I have seen

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager, said: “Sheffield receiving the Purple Flag for the eighth consecutive year is testament to the hard work of a number of organisations in the city centre. At Sheffield BID we promote the city’s diverse evening economy through our Alive After Five strategy, whilst our dedicated police sergeant has played a pivotal role in introducing new projects focusing on the safety of revellers.

“Creating a city centre which is safe is one of Sheffield BID’s core priorities and we are proud to fly the Purple Flag. The BID will continue to work with our partners to ensure people visiting for a night out are kept safe whilst they enjoy themselves.”


Police Sergeant, Matthew Burdett at South Yorkshire Police said: “Sheffield has a real reason to celebrate – not only have we retained our Purple Flag status for 8 successive years but further recognition has also been bestowed on the City through a nomination for an overall National Award.

“This achievement shows the depth and the resilience of our embedded partnerships and recognises the hard work and commitment not only of the responsible authorities but that of our night time community including NTE Venues, volunteers and the city centre residents. 

“Year on year, Sheffield continues to demonstrate it is one of the safest cities in the country despite the challenges we all face but with a core of people who show true commitment to the city we will continue in our journey to make Sheffield an even safer place to live, visit and work.”  

Schemes like Best Bar None, a responsible licensing scheme and Ask for Angela, a way for people to ask for help if they feel unsafe on a date, operate in Sheffield, contributing to keeping people safe while they are out and about in the evenings.

It is estimated that Sheffield’s night-time economy is worth more than £600million*, with around 1,600 businesses involved – 101 of which serve Sheffielders after midnight, creating around 12,500 jobs.

*according to the TBR MAKE Night-Time Economy Index 2010

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