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 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!

Get Home Safe Scheme

The newly formed Bolton Borough Scheme recently launched their own initiative aimed to keep visitors to the borough’s bars and clubs safe on their journey home. The Get Home Safe Scheme (#GHS) was launched just before Christmas 2018.

Best Bar None premises along with local taxi operators and Bolton Council wanted to reduce the risk of customers getting in to rogue taxis after a night out.

This initiative was introduced following an incident in the town where a member of bar staff, having just finished their shift entered an unlicensed vehicle and during the journey became a victim of a sexual assault. The BBN scheme were keen to prevent similar issues from reoccurring and wanted to raise awareness to customers of how they should identify a properly licensed private hire vehicle.

The scheme Chairperson Anna Gough said;

“we do all that we can to keep customers safe whilst in our premises by promoting the Ask for Angela scheme but it’s important that we make sure our customers are safe when they travel home too.”

The initiative will also see licensed Bolton Private Hire vehicles displaying window stickers bearing the #GHS logo.

Click on the link below to see the Get Home Safe Poster and know what to look for when getting in a taxi:

Get Home Safe Poster

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 eight bars from the Best Bar None scheme in Bolton were awarded for their efforts at an award ceremony  on the 19th September 2019.

Held at the Lion of Vienna suite at the University of Bolton Stadium, the awards were presented by Best Bar None Board Member Guy Mason 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 delighted to see that the Best Bar None scheme in Bolton has now expanded across the borough and 28 of our licensed premises have been accredited with this accolade.

Since the scheme’s launch in Bolton in 2017 we have seen some real success. Not only has the scheme made a significant contribution to reducing crime within licensed premises, it has also worked hard to reduce vulnerability across our borough. The Ask for Angela scheme has been particularly successful in preventing a number of potentially serious offences, whilst BBN Bolton borough’s very own Get Home Safe Scheme (#GHS) intends to keep visitors safe as they travel to and from to our night time economy.

I am pleased that this scheme continues to promote public safety across the borough and I look forward to seeing the scheme’s continued growth and success over the next 12 months.”


“ Westhoughton has taken Best Bar None to a new level and now seven premises from this area are now accredited. This year we have also seen premises from Horwich, Farnworth and Ladybridge receive recognition by the scheme.  I congratulate the premises from across Bolton on their achievements”

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 three 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 2018, and Bury are also looking to launch in the near future.   

   Latest events

On the 22nd January 2019; Northern Way on Nelson Square held an event to celebrate a successful 2 years since the launch of the Best Bar None scheme in Bolton and the launch of the NEWLEY formed BOLTON BOROUGH Best Bar None scheme which incorporates the Bolton and Westoughton schemes and as also opens up the scheme to other licensed premises from across the borough. The event started at 7pm and was well attended by all of Bolton borough’s accredited venues as well as around 10 other venues that are hoping to gain accreditation during year 3. Representatives from Bolton Council were also present.

The night focused on what Bolton has achieved over the past year and what difference it has made in the borough to both the public and the venues themselves. The scheme promoted the Get Home Safe Scheme (#GHS) which has been introduced by the Bolton borough Scheme to reduce the chances of customers getting in to a rogue taxi and therefore reduces the chances of visitors to Bolton’s night time economy becoming victims of crime during their journey home. It also gave new 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 Northern Way which its self is a brand new venue was a big success with most of Bolton’s town centre venues attending as well as new venues from across the borough and staff. The night entailed speeches by the chair who opened the event whilst also welcoming new venues. This was then followed by inputs PC Andy Vernon from Greater Manchester Police and Bolton Council’s executive cabinet member Cllr Nick Peel. The event had food prepared by the venues and drinks that were donated by each of the attending venues. Reception drinks were accompanied by a saxophonist followed by a singer/guitarist which concluded the night. .

Year 3 Launch Night


Ask for Angela

Ask for 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 Centre.

      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

Bolton Borough premises receiving Best Bar None Accreditation in 2019


  • Churchgate (Bolton Town Centre)


  • Missoula (Horwich)
  • Robert Shaw (Westhoughton)
  • Hogarth’s (Bolton Town Centre)
  • The Spinning Mule (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Rosehill Tavern (Westhoughton)
  • Grosvenor Casino (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Harvester (Horwich)
  • Northern Monkey ( Bolton Town Centre)
  • Wheatsheaf (Westhoughton)


  • The Balmoral (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Bamboogy (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Northern Way (Bolton Town Centre)
  • The Venue (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Elephant & Castle & Popworld (Town Centre)
  • Britannia Inn (Farnworth)
  • Westhoughton Conservative club
  • The Beaumont arms (Ladybridge)


  • The Beer School (Westhoughton)
  • The Bank (Westoughton)
  • Dragonfly (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Kahiki Hideout (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Yates’s (Bolton Town Centre)
  • The Vista students bar (Bolton Town Centre)
  • ROC (Bolton Town Centre)
  • The Swan and Barristers (Bolton Town Centre)
  • Westhoughton Sports and Social Club


  • Level


  • Andy Vernon

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