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Purple Flag

Purple Flag is a Gold Standard accreditation recognising Waterford for being a safe, welcoming and friendly destination to socialise, live and work in.

What is Purple Flag?

Waterford was awarded the prestigious Purple Flag in February 2015 and it is international recognition of Waterford’s successful, well-managed city centre. It can be seen as the equivalent of the Blue Flag awarded to good beaches.

The Purple Flag award recognises excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy and signifies the diverse range of offering available in Waterford after 5pm. Within Waterford’s compact and vibrant Purple Flag Zone you’ll find a diverse range of family entertainment, arts and culture venues, shopping, dining, pubs and nightclubs, accommodation and transport – something for everyone.

Waterford was first awarded the prestigious Purple Flag in February 2015 and is re-assessed each year under ACTM’s (Association of City & Town Management) stringent standards including:

  • Cleanliness of the city centre open spaces/public realm
  • Ease of getting into and out of the city centre for all
  • Diversity and appeal of entertainment, leisure, arts & culture venues
  • How welcoming and vibrant the city feels
  • How safe the city is to visit
  • The strength of the partnership between agencies and businesses that operate in the evening & night-time economy within the Purple Flag zone.

'Ask for Angela' Campaign

Purple Flag Waterford partnered with WIT Students Union and local venues to launch an ‘Ask For Angela’ campaign – a simple code-word campaign for people feeling unsafe while on a night out. The campaign welcomed by local venue owners and managers as a positive step in raising the perception of safety in Waterford, will be fully in place for the busy Christmas party season.

The Chair of the Purple Flag Working Group outlined that the ‘Ask for Angela’ campaign gives assurance that where required, informed assistance is available. He commended the support shown by venues who will display campaign posters encouraging those in a situation where they feel vulnerable to approach staff and ask for ‘Angela’ – this code word will alert staff that help is needed to get out of a situation discreetly. Angela was a play on the word (guardian) Angel. The posters are up in male and female toilets, and provide reassurance there is support available if needed.” The campaign has got global attention since introduced by Hayley Child in Lincolnshire, England in 2016.

The President of Students Union commented that “the ‘Ask For Angela’ campaign has the potential to make Waterford a safer place by encouraging people to discreetly ask for help by going to venue staff and ‘Ask for Angela’ – a phrase aimed at alerting staff so they can help defuse a situation. It is encouraging to see so many local businesses engaging with the campaign, all with a common objective to protect people who find themselves in vulnerable or distressing situations”.

Goals of Purple Flag

The Purple Flag programme is the framework under which the vision of a vibrant, safe and appealing city which is open for all can be achieved. One of Purple Flag’s key philosophies is collaboration and this sees all the main stakeholder groups in the city working closely together.

The Purple Flag award is the benchmark for good evening and night-time destinations and in many cases increases footfall and safety in the long-run. Centres that achieve a Purple Flag are those that offer a positive experience to consumers. Achievement of the status is of huge benefit to Waterford. Under the auspices of the Purple Flag, local stakeholders are working to promote the evening & night-time economy as a lever of economic and social prosperity for Waterford.

Under the auspices of the flag local stakeholders are working to promote the evening & night-time economy as a lever of economic and social prosperity for Waterford.

Waterford’s Purple Flag Zone stretches from Rice Bridge along the scenic River Suir Boardwalk to Reginald’s Tower (Ireland’s oldest civic urban structure). The zone includes the award-winning Viking Triangle and Waterford’s cultural and heritage quarter. The Zone continues along The Mall to John St and The Apple Market area; it incorporates Railway Square, the pedestrianised areas of Michael Street and John Roberts Square where it links in with Ballybricken. Via Georges Street, it includes O’Connell Street and links back out to The Quay at Hanover Street.


Local Co-ordinator:
Chair of Working Group: Jim Gordon
Administrator: Julie Walsh