A record 116 establishments within Nottingham city centre have succeeded in gaining Best Bar None accreditation this year, beating last year’s total of 85 which itself was a record number. This means that Nottingham city centre has the largest number of accredited venues in the country and, with an impressive 36% increase in participation over the previous year; Nottingham is setting the bar even higher for other cities to beat.
Best Bar None is a national initiative, supported by the Home Office, that is designed to promote the responsible and effective management and operation of licensed premises. In Nottingham city centre, the scheme has been run by Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) since 2010 and for the third year running, it is being sponsored by Nottingham based specialist licensing law firm Poppleston Allen.
To achieve Best Bar None status, venues have to demonstrate that they have the correct policies and procedures in place to prove that they are safe, responsible and well operated, while also complying with relevant legislation. They are then assessed on areas such as the prevention of crime and disorder; the measures they take to promote responsible drinking; their standards of safety and customer care; how they prevent and deal with public nuisance issues; the measures they have in place to protect children from harm and their approach to community engagement including membership of organisations such as Pub Watch.
There are seven categories in the Nottingham scheme: Small Bar, Large Bar, Small Pub, Large Pub, Club, Restaurant and Entertainment & Live Music Venue. The three highest scoring venues in each of the seven categories, according to their assessments, are being judged by an independent judging panel in order to arrive at a winner in each category, with the top scoring venue then being crowned Overall Winner.
The winners will be announced at a special event on Tuesday 10 September 2019 to which all accredited venues will be invited.
The scheme encourages businesses to regularly review their business practices and staff training and generally improve operating standards. They also enjoy a number of benefits including increased footfall and turnover through the safe night time economy the scheme helps to create, good working relationships with the police and local authorities and a reduction in the premiums for some insurance policies.
All the venues that have been successful in gaining the accreditation will receive a certificate and window sticker for them to display to show that they are a Best Bar None venue.
Andrew Crawford, a director of the Nottingham BID, said: “We are delighted that a record number of venues in Nottingham city centre have been successful in gaining Best Bar None accreditation. It spells good news for the city as it demonstrates that licensed venues take safety seriously. We look forward to announcing the winners at the Best Bar None awards ceremony in September.”
Sarah Taylor, a partner at leading licensing law firm, Poppleston Allen, comments: “Nottingham is currently enjoying a thriving food and drink sector with many operators offering experiences that go beyond your average night out. And knowing how seriously operators take safety and overall venue management, I’m not surprised that the Best Bar None scheme is showing record results this year. With 116 establishments now boasting accreditation, Nottingham City really is an outstanding example of the Best Bar None programme.”
Mick McDonnell, national Best Bar None co-ordinator said: “What a fantastic achievement. When Nottingham (City) Best Bar None Scheme hit 85 accredited venues last year it became the biggest scheme in the country. To exceed that by another 31 venues this year is truly amazing.
Having 116 venues participate in the scheme this year, shows the commitment of the venues to ensuring that Nottingham is recognised as a safe and vibrant city, especially at night.