THERE are blue flags for beaches and green flags for parks — now Bury is striving to become the first town in the county to get a purple flag.

The scheme is run by the Association of Town and City Management which grants the special status to town centres wanting to attract more big-spending late-night revellers.

Town hall bosses have launched an ambitious battle plan to get purple flag status and need to demonstrate the town centre is “safe, vibrant, appealing, well managed and offers a positive experience to consumers,” according to a new council report.

Representatives of several Bury organisations met to discuss the plan in January and formed a bid board.

Members have since visited Halifax town centre, which got a purple flag in June, to gain inspiration.

They then met in Bury town centre last Friday to observe the night-time economy from 5pm to 5am.

An application will be tabled by September 15 and independent assessors will then visit Bury before making their decision before December.

The report, written by the council’s head of commerce Andrew Johnson, says: “Bury could become the first Greater Manchester town centre to achieve purple-flag status, which would be a fantastic achievement and brings lots of benefits and promotional opportunities.”

The idea is to persuade fun seekers that the town centre is “alive after five” — referring to 5pm — and that it is safe, tidy and served by well-trained door staff and friendly police.

Bury would be able to refer to its pub watch scheme and the volunteer street pastors, who help vulnerable people on nights out.

Purple flag judges would also need to see evidence that there is entertainment for everyone in the town centre, including families and older people.

Examples in Bury could include plays at The Met, art installations at Bury Light Night and special events at The Rock such as fashion shows.