Bolton, Sheffield, Plymouth and Torquay have made it through to the final of the ‘National Best Bar None Awards’ and are now eagerly awaiting the results, to be announced at a special parliamentary reception at the House of Lords on Monday 5th February.
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 the boost to the town’s day time and night time economy.
The highlight of the Best Bar None calendar is the national awards ceremony and the competition carries a prize fund of over £5,000 split across three categories:
- ‘Best Overall Scheme’, presented to the scheme that has had the biggest impact on the local area – £3,000
- ‘Most Innovative Scheme’, awarded to the most creative concept or initiative introduced to make a difference in the local area – £1,000
- ‘Best New Scheme’, open to any scheme running for less that 18 months – £1,000
The category finalists in this year’s awards are:
- Bolton – for ‘Most Innovative Scheme’ and ‘Best New Scheme’
- Sheffield – for ‘Best Overall Scheme’ and ‘Most Innovative Scheme’
- Plymouth – for ‘Best Overall Scheme’ and ‘Most Innovative Scheme’
- Torquay – for ‘Best Overall Scheme’ and ‘Most Innovative Scheme’
Bolton launched its Best Bar None scheme in January 2017 and already 17 of its 25 town centre venues have been accredited, with a further six venues set to join this year. Impressively, in just the first nine months of operation, the scheme’s implementation has 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 are 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 in the scheme, which has resulted in a significant reduction in crime and alcohol-related admissions to A&E during the evenings and at nighttime.
Torquay established its scheme in January 2016. Now in it’s 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.
National Coordinator for Best Bar None, Mick McDonnell, 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.”