Carrick on Shannon has, following an external assessment by assessors from the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) in the UK, again retained its Purple Flag standard for its evening and night time economy. The Purple Flag standard is awarded to successful towns for the management of their evening and night time economy. It involves a comprehensive assessment of the town across themes such as Well-Being, Movement, Safety, Care, Appeal, Sense of Place and Identity and Planning for the future.
The overall aim of Carrick on Shannon’s involvement in Purple Flag is to raise the profile of the town itself. Through a partnership approach, the Purple Flag Steering Group and Town Team continue to improve the variety on offer in the town between the hours of 17:00 & 05:00. Towns awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant mix of entertainment while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents in the area.
Carrick on Shannon was the smallest town in Ireland to achieve this prestigious standard in 2015 and each year the town has to ensure it maintains or improves on the standard achieved. Carrick on Shannon’s Purple Flag Steering Group is comprised of local businesses, heritage, culture, local authority staff and elected members, tidy towns and an Gardai Síochana. The initiative is funded by Carrick on Shannon Chamber of Commerce and Leitrim County Council and co-ordinated by the Economic Development Unit of Leitrim County Council.
Work with the Steering Group and other local interests through Spring and Summer 2019 on the full renewal application and overnight assessments led to a successful retention of the standard as judged by independent assessors on the evening of August 9th 2019.
As part of the renewal process, an annual Public Perception Survey is carried out on the town’s offering. The businesses in the town – Aura Leisure, Landmark Hotel, Carrick Cineplex, Oarsman Bar and Restaurant and Moonriver put together a very attractive prize of a VIP Day in Carrick on Shannon for people completing the survey. The winner of the 2019 survey prize will be announced in October during purple flag month 2019 and will be invited to accept the prize of a VIP day in Carrick on Shannon.
In 2019 ,405 people completed the survey. The survey showed that 80% of people feel the town offering at night is good or very good and 85% of respondents rated safety in the Town as very good or excellent.
The survey also showed that the main reasons for visiting the town by day is for shopping essentials highlighting the draw the town has for the wider area. At night time, the main reason for visiting the town is to eat out again a reflection of the great choice of eateries in the town. There was also good news on the retail front with an ongoing increase in the number of people who consider the town retail sector either adequate or varied and vibrant. People were also asked to rate different aspects of the town – 76% of respondents felt that the selection of bars, cafes and restaurants were very good or excellent and 71% felt that street cleanliness was very good or excellent which along with acknowledgement of the floral displays and ongoing work at the Linear Park highlights the great work of the Tidy Towns in Carrick on Shannon.
Availability of public Transport is something that needs to be monitored to ensure the town is accessible as possible. The survey also included suggestions for future improvements and some of the suggestions included: more activities on during the week, additional sporting activities, Tourist activities on the river, more access to water sports for families, more activities for children and teenagers and more promotion of the town as a Food destination. These factors will be considered as part of the work programme for 2019/2020.
The Purple Flag Steering Group and Town Team were delighted to learn that this year Carrick on Shannon has been entered for two additional awards under the Core Purple Flag themes of Policy and Appeal,the decision on these elements will take place in 2020.
Carrick on Shannon will formally receive its new Purple Flag at an event in Milton Mowbray in the UK in mid-November