Another nine towns, cities and regions have been given Purple Flag status, the Government-backed kitemark scheme showing a commitment to offering a diverse and safe evening economy. Torquay, Belfast, Canterbury, Enniskillen, Aylesbury, Bangor, Victoria in London, Stockton Heath in Warrington and Derry have all been given the status, taking the number of places with Purple Flags up to 25. Purple Flag, which mirrors the concept of the Blue Flag for safe and clean beaches, is given to areas with a good record for offering a safe and successful night time economy. The scheme is seen as important for raising the reputation and profile of areas for a night out, and could have other benefits for operators in those areas. For example, the Government is set to consider whether premises in Purple Flag regions should be exempt from paying the new late-night levy. Purple Flag is led by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM), alongside Diageo, the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers, Local Government Regulation and others. Mark Baird, head of industry affairs and alcohol policy at Diageo said: “Purple Flag is leading the way in helping to change the perceptions surrounding the evening economies which results in a better night out for everyone.” Philip Kolvin QC, chairman of the Purple Flag Board said: “In a recession the need is greater than ever to create local destinations which provide delight, value for money, investment and jobs. Purple Flag should be seen, not just as a ‘ministry of fun’ but as a catalyst for the local economy.”