Purple Flag for Hull's 'safer' nightlife
CITY centre businesses have been boosted by a national award recognising Hull's nightlife.
The safety, quality and diversity of the city centre evening economy has been rewarded with Purple Flag status.
The Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) assessed their findings after an inspection of the city centre during the Freedom Festival weekend.
Hull is only the third Purple Flag recipient in Yorkshire, following in the footsteps of Halifax and Sheffield.
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Alan Murphy recently opened Hawke's bar, in Scale Lane, and also runs Walter's Bar and the Lion and Key in the city centre.
"This is brilliant for us," he said.
"There is a lot of investment and optimism in the city centre at present.
"Hopefully, the new footbridge between Scale Lane and the east bank will provide a bigger boost.
"There is talk of pedestrianising parts of the Old Town as well."
The full Purple Flag assessment report shows Hull exceeded the standard required in 17 out of the 30 criteria studied by the inspection team. The city met the requirements in the remaining 13 categories.
Humberside Police night time economy and licensing inspector, Colin Connolly, said: "We are really pleased to attain the Purple Flag standard. It was a robust assessment process and a lot of hard work has gone into making the city centre a safer place for the local community, residents, businesses and visitors.
"This has been achievable through partnership collaboration and successful initiatives, such as dispersal orders and drinks banning orders, which address antisocial behaviour and alcohol-related offending.
"We will continue to provide a highly visible police presence, dedicate relevant resources and work with our partners so that people feel safe and reassured when visiting the city centre."
Peter Dawson, public health manager at NHS Hull, believes the safety initiatives will lead to fewer drink-related injuries.
He said: "The award of Purple Flag shows Hull is working towards a safer drinking environment in the city centre.
"This will hopefully lead to fewer accidents and fewer visits to the accident and emergency department at Hull Royal Infirmary, which in turn will reduce the strain on local NHS provision."
Kathryn Shillito, Hull BID (Business Improvement District) city centre manager, said: "This award reflects credit on everyone who has supported our campaign, from the various organisations that have driven the application to the individual businesses who have worked together to bring improvements to our city centre.
"The fact those improvements have been recognised officially by inspectors from outside the city as being worthy of an accreditation shared by only 35 other towns and cities, shows how far we have come.
"The challenge now is to use our Purple Flag to let people know why the assessors rated Hull so highly and to make sure we keep on improving."
The document highlights the public safety role carried out by the volunteer Street Angels and by crime prevention initiatives.
Private businesses are recognised for the part they play in creating an evening economy which is described as "vibrant" and "varied".