Worthing town centre has been awarded Purple Flag status – signifying it is a destination for a safe and vibrant night out.
Inspectors for the scheme recognised that the town centre was heading in the right direction with venues, businesses and police all working together to ensure the town centre after hours was a pleasant place to visit, the council said.
Councillor Kevin Jenkins, Worthing Borough Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “I’m delighted we have received this recognition. It tells people they can expect a decent night out in a safe environment.
“We recognise that there is more to do with our town centre and we have ongoing improvement plans including more seafront restaurants, more open and pleasant avenues and of course the WOW wheel opening for rides soon.
“The Purple Flag is a great platform on which to build.”
The flag scheme, run by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM), works in a similar way to the Green Flag for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches.
It allows members of the public to quickly identify town and city centres that offer an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out. Around 70 towns and cities are currently accredited.
ATCM inspectors visited Worthing to gather information and interviewed stakeholders.
Among the positive findings were a good and well balanced mix of restaurants, an attractive seafront and promenade; effective CCTV and well-supported Pubwatch and Shopwatch schemes; a clear seafront investment plan; well-managed late night venues; a cinema and theatre added to the early evening offer; plenty of well-lit car parking available; fast and efficient policing when required and and a strong relationship with multiple partners committed to raising standards.
The borough council will receive a Purple Flag to fly at a site of its choosing, a spokesman said.
ATCM said its research indicates that Purple Flag can bring real benefits which include, a raised profile and an improved public image for the location, a wider patronage, increased expenditure, lower crime and anti-social behaviour and a more successful mixed use economy in the longer term.
The borough council led the bid but were aided by a host of other organisations including Worthing Pub/Club Watch, Worthing Neighbourhood Watch, the Late Night Partnership and the Worthing Hospitality Federation.