Purple Flag, the internationally recognised accreditation that rewards excellence in night time economy management in towns and cities, has launched an award aimed at universities and colleges; Purple Flag Universities & Colleges (PFU&C).
The new accreditation assesses the evening and night time economy facilities, policies and measures that have been put in place on university and college campuses, neighbouring urban centres and any links between them.
The aim of the scheme is to improve the experience of all students who attend the universities and colleges across the UK, as well as any other individuals who live or work on campus, or nearby, by raising standards in the evening and night time economy.
The Association of Town and City Centre Management (ATCM), which manages the scheme, felt it was important to make a distinction between town and city centres, and academic centres, as the services offered by and expected from each differ vastly.
It was also the case that many towns and cities were Purple Flag accredited, but the accreditation area did not encompass university and college campuses, which are also very important ENTE centres in the area.
There are two key differences from the original accreditation. One is the focus on the quality of the ENTE experience offered to students, residents, visitors and others.
The other is the geographical consideration of the PFU&C scheme, which encompasses any campuses, adjacent town and city centres, student accommodation areas and the links between. This recognises the interdependency of all of these key factors.
Together with all the benefits associated with a traditional Purple Flag accreditation, it is hoped that the accreditation will help to reassure parents of the care and consideration that is taken in assuring student safety in the ENTE on and around campus.
There is also a desire to help support the ongoing efforts of many universities and colleges in ensuring a healthy and positive relationship between its student population and local residents and others in the immediate area.
Having reviewed the criteria, we at nighttimeeconomy.com believe PFU&C should form a central part of the ENTE strategy in a town or city centre, where student populations can be substantial, and contribute a significant amount to the economic vibrancy of an area.
We are always supportive of initiatives such as this that encourage positive partnership working and increased understanding between user groups of centres and facilities.
There are currently over 70 Purple Flag accredited towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
The new accreditation is available now to all universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland, with upcoming deadlines for submissions being the 13th October 2017 and 31st January 2018. Initial assessment fees range from £2,250 to £3,595, depending on the student population at your academic institution.
Interested centres can apply through the Purple Flag website.