Welcome to Best Bar None Bolton Borough, we pride ourselves on our mission statement ……

We aim to reduce alcohol related crime and antisocial behaviour. To increase business, through the delivery of training, education and promotion of best practice, and to create a partnership between the local authority, the police, the trade and the private sector to broaden the appeal of an area more especially it’s evening and nighttime economy.

Launching Best Bar None Bolton

The Bolton Scheme was officially launched on the 17th of January 2017 by The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Mr. Tony Lloyd and Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts. The launch night was attended by over 150 invited dignitaries and guests at The Venue Bar in Bolton Town Centre. Both Mr Lloyd and Assistant Chief Constable Potts offered his full support and an encouraging speeches emphasised the importance of partnership working amongst licensees, the police and Local Authority. In addition the many local businesses came together to offer sponsorship for the event which contributed to the success of not only the night but building the foundations towards achieving a vibrant and safe night time economy in Bolton Town Centre.
Mick Mcdonnell, National Co-coordinator of Best Bar None was astounded by the efforts contributed and expressed pride and delight that BBN was “coming home” to the Manchester.

Our Journey

Following  the success of our launch night momentum to participate began with a keen interest from Bolton town centre premises. Once the application stage has closed the licensees worked tirelessly  to “raise the bar” in Bolton.  GMP Licensing Officers Andy and Natalie held  two BBN workshops to support the licensees and guide and advise them on best practice and legal requirements .

A Commitment to Learning

On the 6th of March, twenty of Bolton center’s licensed premises were represented by almost sixty staff for a Counter Terrorism input delivered by The Northwest Counter Terrorism Unit. The training consisted of a two hour input and included information relevant to Bolton, plus video’s of historic terrorist attacks from around the UK.

On the 20th of March almost fifty town centre staff  from eighteen premises attended a Child Sexual Exploitation Awareness event that was delivered by GMP’s Child  Exploitation Team. The intention of this event was to raise awareness of  potential CSE issues across all night time economies.

Keeping you safe on your night out in Bolton.

In Bolton we strive to be a safe and welcoming so that when our customers come out they feel reassured that if they need help they would be looked after. One of the way we promote safety is by using the Door Staff Breathalysers.  These are essentially there to prevent anyone entering a licensed premises that has already consumed too much alcohol. Many of our BBN venues  us them.

The use of the breathalyser helps premises management in promoting the licensing objective of the prevention of crime and disorder. The breathalyser is a simple and effective piece of kit.

Customers simply blow over the top of the unit which will then indicate to the customer and door supervisor using a traffic light system.

Don’t be offended if you’re asked to blow into the breathalyser. The door staff are doing their job!

Club Crew.

LEVEL Bolton in partnership with Drinwkaware operate a Club Crew.

The Club Crew, trained by Drinkaware UK. are there specifically to provide expert support in venues. They aim to support the welfare and wellbeing of young people on a night out. The Crews working in pairs and are easily identifiable by their bright red uniform mingle with customers to promote a positive social atmosphere and help those who may be vulnerable as a result of drinking too much alcohol. This can include reuniting lost customers with friends, helping people into taxis or simply providing a shoulder to cry on. Employed by the venue The Crew work with other members of staff, like security and first aid, providing an extra layer of support to ensure customers have a happy evening where risk of harm is minimised.

The Awards Night

  Twenty five bars from the Best Bar None scheme in Bolton were awarded for their efforts at an award ceremony  on 27 September 2018.

Held at the Grosvenor Casino in Bolton, the awards were presented by National Best Bar None co-ordinator Mick McDonnell alongside representatives from Greater Manchester Police and Bolton Council.

To achieve the accreditation, bars from across Bolton had to show they were committed to promoting a responsible attitude to a safe and sensible night out. Workshops have also been held across the area to support the licensees as well as guiding and advising them on best practice and legal requirements.

District Superintendent Rick Jackson, GMP said: “I am extremely proud of the work being done by a number of licensed premises both in Bolton and Westhoughton to make our night time economy safer and more enjoyable for all.

“The Bolton scheme has seen some real success since its initial launch two years ago. They have worked tirelessly to improve our night time economy and it was this work that assisted in reducing violence within licensed premises by 33% during the scheme’s first year. The Bolton scheme also won the national Best Bar None Award of Best New Scheme 2017 which is again a credit to the work being done in Bolton.

“This year has seen Westhoughton launch their Best Bar None Scheme and I am pleased that six of the Westhoughton premises are working to this higher standard. I congratulate the premises from both Westhoughton and Bolton on their achievements”

Councillor Anna-Marie Watters, Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion and Community Services said: “We are delighted that bars in Bolton are leading the way in making the town a safer place to go out at night. Bars and clubs across the area have been working hard with the police and the council to improve their standards and training to ensure people can enjoy a fun and safe night out. As I am also a councillor for Westhoughton South, I am so pleased to see the launch of the scheme in Westhoughton with 6 bars from the area receiving the accreditation and look forward to its thriving future as part of the awards.”

Mick McDonnell, National Co-ordinator for Best Bar None said “It’s fantastic to see the BBN scheme thriving in Bolton since its initial launch two years ago. The event was a great way to celebrate the efforts and achievements the premises have put in over the last 12 months, and we only hope this success will continue long into the future with further schemes planned across Greater Manchester.”

Following on from the success in Bolton, the scheme was launched in Leigh on Wednesday 26 September, and Bury are also looking to launch in the near future.    

   Latest events

On the 30th January 2018; Yates in Bradshawgate held an event to celebrate a successful 12 months since the launch of the Best Bar None scheme in Bolton and the launch of Bolton Best Bar None Year 2, it was also the launch of Best Bar None in Westhoughton. The event started at 7pm and was attended by all of Boltons accredited venues as well as Westhoughton’s venues who are hoping to be accredited. Also attended was members of the council, Greater Manchester Police and Best Bar None.

The night focused on what Bolton has achieved over the past year since the scheme was launched and what difference it has made in the town to both the public and the venues themselves. It also gave Westhoughton establishments the opportunity to get an insight into what the scheme does and how it positively impacts the nightlife within the area.

Since the scheme first launched in Bolton the town has seen a 33 per cent reduction in crime. Seventeen businesses from the area have gained official accreditation.  There were 92 incidents of violent crime reported in licensed premises, compared with 137 for the same time period in 2016.

The launch night which was held at the Yates was a big success with most of Bolton’s town center  venues attending as well as Westhoughton venues and staff. The night entailed speeches by the chair who opened the event whilst also welcoming Wethoughton. This was then followed by inputs off Mick Mcdonnell from Best Bar None, Martin Donaghy, Chief Superintendent Stuart Ellision and PC Andy Vernon from Greater Manchester Police. The event had food prepared by the Yates ad drinks that were donated  by each of the attending venues and a band which concluded the night along with a DJ. The bad was Idol Promise who are all ex members of the police.

Year 2 Launch Night

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Ask Angela

Ask Angela is a nationally recognised scheme which was designed to provide support to those feeling vulnerable and in need of help on a night out.

Bolton Police are launching the scheme across the town centres pubs and clubs. Ask for Angela aims to reduce sexual violence and abuse in the area. It does this by providing those feeling vulnerable in those establishments a platform to discreetly approach staff and ask for help.

When asking for help staff at the venue’s signed up to the scheme will offer the person feeling unsafe an opportunity to be taken to a safer location. The victim is then able to speak out about the help that they require.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Bridge from Greater Manchester Police, said: “By providing members of the public, both male and female the opportunity to seek help through the use of a non-descript phrase we are able to empower them into getting out of a situation which makes them feel uncomfortable.

“Those asking for help may be in the company of someone who is not what they seemed and they want to get away safely. Staff are then in a position to provide a variety of options including, calling a taxi, contacting friends and in serious circumstances ringing police.”

This scheme was launched in Bolton on Monday 20th November 2017.

Since the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme was launched, over the Christmas period there was a number of potential serious sex offences that were prevented by the use of this scheme within Bolton town center.


National Awards Ceremony

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.”

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.

Accredited venues

The 25 establishments awarded are as follows:


Bolton premises receiving the Accreditation:


Diamond Award



Platinum Award

  • Yates


Gold Award

  • The Vista (S/U bar)
  • ROC
  • Dragonfly
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Kahiki Hideout
  • The Bar
  • Swan & Barristers
  • Hogarth’s
  • The Venue


Silver Award     

  • Great Ale at the vaults
  • Churchgate
  • Grosvenor Casino
  • Bamboogy
  • Spinning Mule
  • The Balmoral
  • Courtney’s
  • Post Office Bar


Westhoughton Premises receiving the accreditation:


Gold Awards

  • The Beer School


Silver Award

  • Westhoughton Conservative Club
  • The White Horse
  • The Robert Shaw
  • The Rosehill Tavern
  • The White Lion


  • Andy Vernon

    • Email: Andrew.Vernon@gmp.police.uk

Photos from 2018 Awards Night