Leeds given prestigious Purple Flag status for fifth year running: VL Art Walk 2021 - Greek Street 02

24 May 2022

Leeds given prestigious Purple Flag status for fifth year running

Best city

Leeds has been given prestigious Purple Flag status for the fifth year running, for achieving excellence in the management of its evening and night-time economy.

Awarded by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), the Purple Flag aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm and 5am. 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.

The Purple Flag accreditation recognises the investment in the streets and spaces in the city centre, which has seen streets like Greek Street, Call Lane, New Briggate and Lower Briggate all improved over the past two years. Increased areas of pedestrianisation, wider pavements and more space for outdoor seating have contributed to a more attractive city centre. There has also been major investment in the city’s bus and transport network, helping to improve journey times and provide safer walking and cycling routes.

The judging panel praised the city’s approach to managing the night-time economy, with partnership initiatives like ‘Night Safe Leeds’, the multi-agency on-street community safety offer, and ‘Ask For Angela Leeds’ where people who feel unsafe can simply ‘ask for Angela’ at the bar or other venue and trained staff will be able to provide help. 

In addition, the work of the ‘Angels of Freedom’ who offer a range of visible, engaging, and caring services to people in the LGBT+ community was highlighted, as was the Women's Safe Space pilot initiative run by Women’s Lives Leeds where a bus was used as a safe space for women who wanted to seek assistance, wait for friends or call a taxi. It was felt that these initiatives demonstrate a real commitment to making the city centre an inclusive, safe, and welcoming environment for all.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for economy, culture and education, said:

“I am delighted that Leeds has once again retained its Purple Flag status. The city centre has bounced back strongly from the pandemic, with leisure trips at the weekend often driving footfall above the levels seen pre-pandemic. Last weekend, for example, weekend footfall was three per cent up on the equivalent weekend in 2019. The city’s hospitality offering continues to evolve, with new venues regularly opening, and many more in the pipeline.”

Councillor Debra Coupar, Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for resources with responsibility for Safer Leeds, said:

“Leeds city centre is a vibrant and exciting place for everyone and I am delighted that the work we have been undertaking to ensure everyone can enjoy it safely has been recognised through Purple Flag status. 

“We see people from all communities coming to Leeds to enjoy shopping, theatre and the arts and our thriving nightlife.  I hope that this award will encourage more and more people to visit our fabulous city and feel welcomed and safe while doing so.”


For media enquiries contact:

Leeds City Council Communications team