Maynooth goes Purple
The internationally accredited award for excellence in the evening and night-time in a town
- First University town in Ireland to be included in Purple Flag Zone
- Worth €3.1 million to the local economy over the next 3 years
- Tourism Footfall expected to rise by 6%
- Maynooth to be promoted nationally and internationally as a town to visit
- Almost 10,000 extra visitors expected over 3 years
Maynooth is celebrating being honoured with the Purple Flag, the internationally accredited award for excellence in the night-life of a town or city.
Maynooth joins 22 other towns/cities in Ireland who have achieved Purple Flag status and is the first town in Ireland to have a University within the Purple Flag zone.
Purple Flag status for Maynooth is estimated to be worth €3.1 million to the local economy in the next 3 years. The Chamber believes that an extra 10,000 visitors will visit Maynooth over the next 3 years and this will lead to increased revenue in Hotels, Bars and Restaurants. Local golf courses and leisure amenities coupled with visitor attractions such as Maynooth Castle will all benefit from this prestigious award.
The award follows the completion of a rigorous 11 months of hard work and commitment by both the Chamber and Kildare County Council. Businesses and community groups worked tirelessly to receive this award. The Chamber organised a series of information meetings, workshops and site visits to ensure that every business in the town was aware of the importance of receiving this accreditation.
The award which recognises Maynooth as a ‘must-visit’ location will be beneficial as a marketing and promotional tool, placing the town amongst a small number of towns and cities to have achieved this standard. Maynooth will now be marketed locally, nationally and internationally as a town of excellence with a rich mix of dining and cultural venues and a vast range of events and festivals.
The application which involved a thorough assessment of the town’s evening and night time offering under the theme areas of Wellbeing, Movement, Appeal, Place and Policy is awarded to towns that offer a well-managed, diverse, entertaining and enjoyable evening and night out to residents and visitors to the town.
Towns that have been accredited with Purple Flag status have seen huge increases in footfall with figures confirmed of 6.4%. Occupancy in hotel rooms have seen increases with reports of revenue surges in bars and restaurants.
A panel of experts assessed Maynooth between 5.00pm to 5.00am under headings including security, movement, place, and policy, and advised that Maynooth offered a well-managed, diverse, entertaining and enjoyable evening and night out. Maynooth was deemed to offer the highest quality in shopping, dining, pubs and entertainment ensuring a visitor has all they need for a great evening out.
On the 8th of February, Maynooth will be officially awarded the Purple Flag status at an award ceremony.
Chief Executive of the Chamber Allan Shine said, “The result was the outcome of months of dedication and hard work led by Jennifer Forster, Membership and Events Manager of the Chamber. Huge work went into this process which included workshops, a self-assessment, a comprehensive application submission and an independent adjudication. The Maynooth application was funded by both Kildare County Council and the Chamber.
The town was particularly commended for its diversity of venues that could compete with larger urban areas, the strength of the partnership that worked on the project and support given from the Council”.
Similar to the Blue Flag for beaches, the Purple Flag Award aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres in the evenings and at night. The scheme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) working alongside the Purple Flag Advisory Committee Purple Flag.
Accredited towns and cities have proven that they are welcoming to everyone, offer safe ways for visitors to travel home after dark and provide a good mix of venues. Purple Flag towns and cities benefit from more visitors, lower crime and anti-social behaviour, and improved perceptions of centres.
Maynooth is the first town in Kildare to receive this prestigious award. It is part of a joint initiative between Kildare County Council and the Chamber to drive Kildare as a tourism destination which already exists. Kildare is home to 3 horse racing venues, Irish National Stud, Kildare Village, Newbridge Silverware and is the birthplace to both Arthur Guinness and Earnest Shackleton.
Jennifer Forster, Membership and Events Manager with the Chamber led the project, “We are delighted that Maynooth has been awarded the Purple Flag status in recognition of our dedicated efforts and investment in the enhancement of our night time economy. We are very proud to fly the Purple Flag, reflecting the strength of on-going partnerships and engagement with businesses, community groups and residents of the town. We look forward to promoting the Purple Flag, and will use it as a stepping stone in our continuing development of a vibrant and safe night time environment for businesses, residents and visitors alike.”
Sonya Kavanagh, Director of Economic Development with Kildare County Council said, “It is fantastic for the local community, and for Maynooth to be awarded this Purple Flag. Maynooth has worked very hard to create a safe and well-managed evening and night time environment, with a variety of social activities on offer for residents of all ages. The panel was particularly impressed with the town’s outstanding diversity of venues and the quality and commitment of the partnership”
“The work starts now with promoting the town. Internationally the evening and night time economies of towns and cities are becoming increasingly important. We are seeing a closer alignment of the retail and hospitality industries, and the lines between the traditional day and evening economies are blurring. If our towns and cities are to survive and thrive in the 21st century, they must meet the expectations of both visitors and our indigenous population. To achieve that goal our town centres must be professionally managed and promoted. The Chamber and Kildare County Council are committed to promote Maynooth locally, nationally and internationally” said Allan Shine.