Four town and city centres up for Best Bar None awards

Best Bar None logo

Activities to improve professional standards in bars, clubs and pubs in Bolton, Sheffield, Plymouth and Torquay have earned them a place in the final of the National Best Bar None Awards.

All four are up for the title of most innovative Best Bar None scheme, while Sheffield, Plymouth and Torquay are up for best overall scheme. Bolton’s initiative, which launched in January last year, is the only finalist for best new scheme.

The winners will be announced at a special parliamentary reception at the House of Lords on February 5.

Mick McDonnell, national coordinator for Best Bar None, said: “I would like to thank all those schemes that took the time to enter the awards this year. It is always encouraging to read about the different initiatives our members are developing in order to make the local community a safer place, and I am pleased and proud that we are able to recognise and reward the best of those.

“The standard of entries this year was particularly high, so the four schemes that reached the final did particularly well. I would like to congratulate them for getting to this stage and I wish them all the very best in the final.”

The winner of best overall scheme, presented to the scheme that has had the biggest impact on the local area, receives £3,000. The title of most innovative scheme, given to the most creative concept or initiative introduced to make a difference in the local area, earns the prize of £1,000. The best new scheme, for those running for less than 18 months, receives £1,000.

Originally launched in Manchester in 2003, Best Bar None is a Home Office-backed scheme that works with the alcohol industry, police and local authorities to promote responsible alcohol consumption and higher professional licensing standards in pubs, bars and clubs.

By working to reduce crime, disorder and under-age sales, Best Bar None helps to create a safer and more responsible alcohol-related leisure environment that encourages people of all ages to socialise.

With active programmes across 70 towns and cities, clear evidence is emerging that where a Best Bar None scheme is in existence it both contributes to a reduction in alcohol-related disorder and boosts the town’s daytime and night-time economy.

One year after launch, Bolton already has already accredited 17 of its 25 town centre venues, with a further six set to join this year. In just the first nine months of operation, the scheme’s implementation resulted in a 33% reduction in violent offences committed in licensed premises.

The Sheffield scheme has been in operation for seven years and 2017 was the most successful to date. Key areas of focus were the reduction in alcohol-related crime and the responsible management and operation of licensed premises. Sheffield was the first scheme to launch a Best Bar None app, which it has now shared with a number of other regional schemes throughout the country.

Plymouth’s scheme, which has been running for over 10 years, has 55 venues actively engaged, which has resulted in a significant reduction in crime and alcohol-related admissions to A&E during the evenings and at night-time.

Torquay established its scheme in January 2016. Now in its second year, it has 19 licensed premises on board and it has already seen an 18.6% reduction in public order offences in the area.

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