Best Bar None awards for Guildford’s best bars

MKB guildfordEntertainment venue G Live and Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel’s MKB (pictured) were among winners at this year’s Best Bar None Awards for Guildford.

G Live was named best bar and cocktail bar MKB was best late bar while The Britannia in Millmead won the award for best pub and also the overall Best Bar None award.

Launched in September 2013, the Guildford Best Bar None Awards invited the Surrey town’s licensed venues to sign up for assessment of their business and the chance to attain accreditation from the scheme.

The Best Bar None endorsement demonstrates that a venue meets a standard much higher than the minimum required for the trade. They were judged on prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, prevention of public nuisance and protection of children from harm.

The Britannia won the overall award for its heavy emphasis on staff training and “excellent” engagement with local partners such as the police and local authorities, coupled with “outstanding” customer service.

The pub’s licensee Lee Walker said: “Awards such as these are great for our local community, and go a long way to helping keep Guildford firmly on the map when it comes to a great night out.”

The Best Bar None awards and scheme are run by Experience Guildford, the town’s business improvement district (BID) partnership. The ceremony for local businesses, pubs and bars was held at the town’s Mandolay Hotel.

A special award was presented to the Guildford Street Angels, who support Surrey Police and the Safer Guildford Partnership to provide care for people in need in the town centre.

Amanda Masters, general manager of Experience Guildford, said: “Working with Guildford’s pubs and bars on initiatives such as Best Bar None help us celebrate the best in the business, and showcases the great work our licensed venues are doing.

“The night-time economy is a valuable and valued contributor to the town, drawing an audience from across the county. The Best Bar None scheme demonstrates our ongoing commitment to creating a safe haven for revellers, and complements other initiatives we have introduced to the town centre to reduce alcohol related anti-social behaviour.”

The scheme is supported by Guildford Borough Council. Cllr Richard Billington, lead councillor for community safety and health, added: “The night-time economy is very important to Guildford. We want to offer a safe, enjoyable experience to those who visit the bars and clubs in the town.

“Best Bar None recognises venues that invest in staff training, security and help promote a positive image of our town.”

Other partners include Surrey Fire and Rescue, Surrey Police, Guildford Pubwatch and Guildford Street Angels.

Projects such as Behave or Be Banned, delivered by Experience Guildford, Surrey Police and Guildford Pubwatch, along with the funding of Taxi Marshalls on Saturday nights, have done much to reduce alcohol-related violence within the town centre, with figures released by Surrey Police revealing a drop of 25% compared to the previous year.

Experience Guildford will be introducing further initiatives throughout 2014 aimed at supporting and developing the town’s night-time economy.

A second phase of Best Bar None is planned to take place in the autumn, and a new marketing campaign, Thank Guildford It’s Friday, is to be introduced this spring.

Supported by the Home Office, the nationwide Best Bar None scheme aims to reward venues who consistently go the extra mile to safeguard customers and reduce alcohol-related crime and anti- social behaviour.

The scheme, now adopted by more than 100 towns and cities across the UK, has become a benchmark among bar, club and pub operators, promoting responsible operation and management within the licensed trade.

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