Posted: Tue 17th Jul 2012

Purple Flag Standard Could Boost Wrexham’s Night Time Economy

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jul 17th, 2012

Wrexham town centre is set to be put forward for accreditation for a night time standard which could attract more visitors to the town. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Purple Flag is a new accreditation scheme that recognises excellence in the management of town and city centres at night. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Entertainment areas that achieve the standard will be those that offer a better night out to visitors. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Town Centre Manager Isobel Watson told traders at a forum meeting that if accreditation was achieved it would recognise that the town centre was well managed, vibrant and safe during the night time trade and could attract more people to the town. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Inspector Mark Williams added that other towns which had achieved the Purple Flag were already seeing big firms moving in as a direct result. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Eagles Meadow Centre Manager Kevin Critchley welcomed the move, he said: “It will be worthwhile going for accreditation, if a parent wants their child to go somewhere safe at night they will look to Wrexham town centre.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

However, owner of the Bank bar Alex Jones warned that Wrexham Council would need to show their support in order for the standard to be achieved. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He said: “We would need toilets re-opened at night, better lighting and signage and street marshals in order to achieve it. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are relying on he support of the council and councillors.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“On a Saturday night you can get as many as 5-6000 visiting Wrexham. I haven’t seen a return on the amount I pay in business rates and we do pump a lot of money into the economy.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Hugh Jones said the authority would look into extending the opening hours of toilets in the town centre over the weekend period. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Isobel Watson told the town centre forum that the application could take up to 18 months and that they would not apply until they were confident of meeting the criteria. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Any assessment would usually start at 6pm in a ‘mystery shopper’ style exercise and takes into account not only bars and nightclubs, but also aspects such as late night shopping, family entertainment and general infrastructure in the town centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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