Dunfermline’s nightlife flies the purple flag

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

On 16 January, Dunfermline achieved Purple Flag status for its evening and night time economy for the second year running. The national Association of Town and City Management (ACTM) congratulated Lisa Edwards at Dunfermline Delivers on a successful submission.

Dunfermline is one of just four Scottish winners of the award, the others being Aberdeen, Perth and Paisley.

The award recognises a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture. Dunfermline continues to see new restaurants opening such as Antioch and Basil, there’s a strong live music scene and the cultural offer continues to grow – the Outwith Festival, PJ Molloys, Fire Station Creative, the Alhambra and the award-winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library and Galleries are just some of the organisations offering new cultural and musical events.

Safety and well-being on a night out are other key measures for the Purple Flag. Dunfermline Delivers, with part funding from Fife Council, has enhanced the winter lighting displays to help safety and create an attractive environment in three areas of the town: in St John’s Vennel, at the car park between Eastport and the Carnegie Hall, and to the trees in the avenue leading to the Abbey.

Spearheaded by Dunfermline Delivers, the Purple Flag demonstrates close partnership working - Police Scotland, Fife Council, the Street Pastors, Forth Crossing Security, Pubwatch, the Community Safety Partnership, the Community Engagement Team and Retailers Against Crime.

Lisa Edwards of Dunfermline Delivers explains: “Every six to eight weeks the partnership completes a walking route around the town to assess and quickly fix lighting, graffiti, overgrown areas of ground and suggest other long term improvements.

“The partnership was also able to help local police by swiftly introducing new bus marshalls to prevent the antisocial behaviour that was developing at the bus station.  This year, rail pastors are also continuing after being successfully piloted on the Fife circuit in 2017. We’ve seen how the street pastors, the taxi marshalls and the safe zone, which have all been in place for a number of years, have helped.

Another example of close working was at Halloween. When the 22 licensed members of PubWatch advised that 31 October was expected to be much busier in 2017, Dunfermline Delivers arranged for extra marshalls to be put in place and the Safe Zone was extended.  All the PubWatch members are already supplied with radios so that staff can keep in touch throughout the night during weekends.

In 2017 it was estimated that the Safe Zone over the previous festive period had saved £75,000 on NHS resources because late night revellers could get immediate First Aid and support if vulnerable, water to rehydrate, food, they could charge their phones or borrow a phone if they had lost their mobile to ensure they got home safely.

Councillor Helen Law, chair of Dunfermline area committee, said, “The City of Dunfermline Local Community Plan sets how public, private and voluntary organisations will work together with our communities to make Dunfermline a better, cleaner, safer, stronger and more vibrant place to live and visit.

“Retaining our Purple Flag accreditation is a great example of everyone working together for the benefit of those who enjoy a great night out in Dunfermline and the strength of our partnership was evident to the assessors.”

The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management which works alongside – a partnership of key stakeholder groups backed by Government, police and businesses, as well as the UK sponsors Diageo Great Britain, now have over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation.