Preston promotes night time economy


PRESTON is holding a three-day festival at the end of January to celebrate its night time economy. Prestfest, which starts on January 30, has been organised by the city’s Business Improvement District (BID) in partnership with more than 50 venues throughout the city centre.


Jessica Toomey, general manager at the Frog and Bucket comedy club and chairman of the Preston By Night group, said the event would promote the city’s Purple Flag status, an accreditation by the Association of Town Centre Management of a safe, vibrant and enjoyable night time destination.


She said: “Being the only destination in Lancashire to fly the Purple Flag, we are on a mission to shout about why our city centre is a great place to visit at night. “


“We believe Preston offers a unique night-out to people in Lancashire but we recognised the need to evolve and improve our offer to encourage people to come here and keep coming back.”


“We held a Prestfest weekend in May 2013, to great acclaim, boosting footfall and trade in many quarters; this time, it will be even better and as an economy, we are really excited.”


Prestfest, which was first held in October 2011, takes place two or three times each year and aims to celebrate the variety of Preston’s nightlife. The festival weekend usually includes live music, entertainment, speciality acts and special offers.


Preston is one of only 42 ”Purple Flag Places” within the United Kingdom. Purple Flag aims to raise the standard of town and city centres across the country and its judges look out for a mix of venues, including night clubs, cocktail bars, real ale pubs and even bingo halls. Only those centres that reach or surpass Purple Flag standards are allowed to fly the flag.