Darlington flagged as a great night out

For the fifth year in a row, Darlington has been flagged as a great place for a night out.

Following a thorough re-assessment process, the town has been awarded the prestigious Purple Flag award in recognition of its safe, welcoming, and diverse night-time economy. The accreditation, which is similar to the Blue Flag scheme for beaches and Green Flag for parks, aims to raise the standard of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm and 5am, and has only been awarded to 100 destinations globally.

Factors for successful destinations include the range of leisure and entertainment options available, the quality of customer care, and the overall wellbeing of visitors including how easily they can move around the town and their ability to get home safely. Evidence of strong multi-sector partnership working is also a priority.

Working together with partners including the police, licensing, and local businesses, Darlington Borough Council took part in the rigorous reaccreditation process which involved written submissions, public feedback and an inspection by a team of experts from the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which oversees the programme. 

During their visit ATCM assessors were impressed by the town's  blend of entertainment, dining, and culture as well as the council's commitment to the safety of local residents and visitors. Services including Number 40, which offers a safe space for people who feel vulnerable or who are unwell on a night out, and the town's upgraded CCTV system and control room were specifically mentioned.

Cllr Chris McEwan, cabinet member for economy said "Purple Flag represents the gold standard of the management of evening and night-time economies and we are delighted to have retained our accreditation, which is an outward signal that Darlington is a great place to live, visit or work.

“The 'after dark' economy is worth over £66bn annually to the UK and is a key part of our local economy. The town has a wide choice of leisure and entertainment options for people of all ages, lifestyles and cultures and we work hard with our key partners and wider community, to ensure the town remains a safe place for all.

“We continue to attract new and exciting businesses to Darlington which supports our vibrant and diverse town scene, while generating local jobs for local people.”

Find out more about things to see and do in Darlington with our articles.


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