Kettering’s town centre has retained its prestigious Purple Flag status for its thriving night-time economy.
The Purple Flag scheme – similar to the Green Flag for parks and the Blue Flag for beaches – recognises excellence in managing a thriving, safe and vibrant evening economy.
It is the second time in two years Kettering has been given it, and the town centre is the only one in the county and one of only two in the East Midlands (along with Derby) to receive it.
A team of assessors took to the town to see the wealth of facilities on offer, including restaurants, pubs and the Alfred East Art Gallery.
We took to the streets of Kettering to find out your views on the town centre.
Lottie Hall, 29, said: “I don’t really go out clubbing, the new bits of Kettering are really good but the old bits can be quite rough.
“Kettering on a whole is getting better and better but there’s still people vomiting outside clubs even though there used to be a lot more crime in the past than there is now.
“Kettering is alright, the Earl [of Dalkeith] is good because everyone goes there and the rest of town is good because you don’t have to pay to get in anywhere and it’s relatively cheap.
“The nights out never change though, people have their chosen place.”
Joshua Calton-Weekes, 21, of Kettering, said: “I haven’t heard of the award but Kettering town is alright.
“There are quite a lot of options for a small town and there are lots of places that open quite late which are difficult to come across in cities.
“It adds a nice mix to the night out.”
Jacob Purdie, 21, said: “I don’t think crime rates are low because I’ve been affected recently but as for a night out, there are quite a few different places to go.
“As for cultural spaces, I don’t tend to use Kettering for that anyway, I would just choose to go down to London.”
Ryan Stewart, of Corby, said: “It’s not very clean but it is a good night out.
“I don’t know why we have an award for culture but the art museum near the war memorial is wicked.”
Manager of The Yards shopping area Emma Parker said: “some parts of Kettering have really gone downhill but Market Street and the new local businesses are really starting to bring it back.
“People who used to choose to shop in Corby and Market Harborough are now telling me that they’re focusing more on Kettering again now.”
Her business partner, Michaela Jones, said: “Kettering is full of hidden gems.
“The local events are brilliant for everyone and have a real focus on family both in town and at the library and museum, it just takes a bit of exploration.”
Chrystelle Insua-Cao, founder of Creperie Chrystelle in The Yards, said: “I’ve lived in the UK for 25 years now and I’ve watched this town flourish.
“The art scene is vibrant and it really caters for the youth.
“A lot of people ask me, why would I move from the French Alps to Kettering?
“But I tell them I love it.
“There’s a close community and the evening life creates diversity and regardless of the Brexit result this town is very multi-cultural.”