Local MP Steve Brine has expressed his delight as Winchester has been awarded a prestigious Purple Flag for the second year running.
A Purple Flag is an indicator of a good night out, and is part of a national scheme run by the Association of Town Centre Management, which is supported by the Association of Chief Police Officers, Diageo, the Home Office, Local Government Regulation (LACORS) and many other high profile national bodies.
Steve Brine said: "This is fantastic recognition not only for Winchester as a whole, but for traders and those in the hospitality industry across the city, ably supported by BiD and the city council. I have always said it is a real honour to represent this wonderful city, and this second Purple Flag status reaffirms to everyone just how lucky we are."
Chris Turner, Executive Director at the Winchester Business Improvement District (BiD), said: "We are pleased that the truly excellent evening economy of Winchester, with great restaurants, fine bars and a welcoming range of cultural venues is recognised nationally for the second year running. With other Purple Flag winning cities including the renowned night time entertainment venues of Bournemouth, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester, Winchester is in deservedly prestigious company."
The award recognises that a town or city is managing its night time experience and overcoming any negative public perceptions that may exist. Winchester has achieved this status as it offers a first class night out for both residents and the city's four million visitors a year.
Eloise Appleby, Assistant Director for Economic Prosperity at Winchester City Council commented: "Winchester City Council is delighted that we have not only retained our Purple Flag, but actually moved up from 'above standard' to 'excellent/ outstanding' in two areas. This is due to the introduction of a team of 44 volunteer 'street pastors', commissioned by the churches of the city, to help vulnerable or distressed people on Friday and Saturday nights; the installation of a new set of digital CCTV cameras, linked to a brand new central control room and the complete refurbishment of Winchester High Street."
Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council and Portfolio Holder for the Economy and Tourism, added: "We don't intend to stop here but to keep on improving year after year. My Administration is committed to ensuring Winchester's City Centre remains lively, vibrant and economically viable by day and by night. The results show just how much we can achieve by working in partnership with other organisations, from the County Council to the churches. Congratulations to all those involved in this accreditation process."
You can visit the BiD website at www.winchesterbid.co.uk.