Fresh from Friday’s Purple Flag Awards, hosted in the lovely City of Chester, I have spent a little time reflecting on the growing importance of the evening and night time economy, in a world where we all knowledge that town centres have to be more than just retail.The health of our town centres after dark is high up the political agenda.
There is increasing recognition that many centres are hubs of activity 24/7, evident across the country where opportunities and challenges linked with the evening and night time economy (ENTE) are emerging all the time.
At ATCM, we are striving to enhance our communications with the industry on all that is happening. As the Purple Flag Programme Manager, I am delighted to update you on all things ENTE.
The Rise and Rise of Purple Flag
Round 20 October 2017 was the largest round that we have seen for Purple Flag so far, welcoming submissions from 3 new areas, 12 full renewals and 14 interim renewals. The round is now complete and all the assessor and panel reports have now been sent back to the areas to work on for their next renewal.
The wheels are now in motion for the first round of 2018 with the submission deadline just closed and the planning of overnight assessments and interim reviews are underway. The two further submission deadlines for 2018 are 29 June and 12 October.
Watch this space…….Details will be sent out soon on an assessors briefing day for our assessors already in place and an assessor recruitment day for all those interested in becoming a PF assessor for both our main programme and the new universities and college programme (PFU&C). Please feel free to register your interest in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe Spaces Report & Toolkit
Safe spaces play a vital role in supporting the UK’s vibrant NTE, reducing vulnerability as well as reducing the pressure on local A&E departments and police resources. The research commissioned by the Portman Group and carried out by MAKE Associates found that, while a vast majority of people enjoy a night out, less than 1% risk becoming vulnerable or causing anti-social behaviour through alcohol misuse.
It is estimated that investment into a safe space can help offset public sector costs by as much as £9.31 for every £1 spent, however, the report shows that safe spaces have yet to reach their full potential. The toolkit that accompanies the report will help new safe spaces set up their schemes more quickly and avoid pitfalls. Having identified over 150 towns/cities that could benefit from a scheme the safe space ‘movement’ has huge potential to grow.
A link to the report can be found here
A link to the toolkit can be found here
Accessible Places Toolkit
As a key partner we have been working with Revo on the accessible places toolkit which was launched at the end of November 2017. The toolkit’s aim is to ensure that every retail place is accessible to everyone.
21% of the UK population have a disability and many find themselves unable to participate in society due to the barriers that they face. The Purple Pound is the annual spending power of households where someone is disabled and it is valued at £249 billion per year. This is a massive customer base that businesses, towns and city centres are missing out on.
The thinking behind the toolkit is to ensure that every retail place is accessible to absolutely everyone. We are aiming to raise awareness throughout the UK of what our communities can do, is doing and has achieved in this space. We have been very lucky to have support from the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton MP along too with the office of Disability.
For more information, and to access the toolkit, please click here.
We are looking forward to welcoming Becki Morris from the Disability Cooperative Network, to the Towns Conference hosted by Warwickshire County Council and ATCM Midlands for a discussion on accessibility in town centres.
To attend, click here to register.
The Violence and Vulnerability Unit
I am delighted to announce that Home Office funding to undertake Locality Reviews in towns and cities across England and Wales has all been allocated. This demonstrates the how seriously our members consider the issue of gang culture in urban centres across the country and the impact on those who are vulnerable. We will lobby the Home Office for more funding to extend the work of the Unit into other areas.
We hope that early and insightful findings will be made available from the Locality Reviews in the next few weeks. Join us at our Place Management Conference, Violence and Vulnerability, at The Mermaid London, on the 17thApril to find out more. There is an early bird offer in place until the 16th March.
To find out more, visit http://atcmviolenceandvulnerability.eventbrite.com.
Finally, there is lots of debate happening around homelessness, an issue of great concern for our members. I have recently had a meeting with key national charities about how we can make a difference on this issue. I will keep members up-to-date on these discussions as we flesh out a more proactive strategy.
In the meantime, why not join us in Wales for a tour of Cardiff City Centre to see first-hand the great work of FOR Cardiff BID on this issue (register here). Don’t forget, if you need support in developing a compassionate brand around diverted giving, then you can always use our very own ‘Have A Heart - Give Smart’ campaign. You can find the relevant literature on our Basecamp network.