BARNSLEY town centre has been awarded a coveted Purple Flag for the fourth consecutive year in recognition of its night-time economy.

Purple Flag is a national accreditation, similar to the blue and green flags awarded to beaches and parks, which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 5pm to 5am.

It honours towns and cities that provide a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and residents.

Judges examined how well the town’s nightlife met five core standards: policy, wellbeing, movement, appeal and identity.

Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said: “It’s incredibly pleasing to have retained our Purple Flag status once again.

“A lot of hard work and significant investment have been put in to improve the town centre, support businesses and make Barnsley a welcoming, safe and inclusive place to visit, day or night.

“Many of our venues are Best Bar None accredited and run the Ask For Angela safety scheme, while we have introduced the nightlife angels, as well as the street pastors and nightlife marshals, to provide a visible presence in the town centre late into the night and early hours of the morning.”