Cumbria’s Best Bar None (BBN) scheme has been voted the ‘Best New Scheme’ in England and Wales, in the national Best Bar None Awards. The team picked up the winning trophy at a prestigious ceremony held in the House of Lords last night [Tuesday 4th February 2020].
Best Bar None is a Home Office-backed scheme that sees the alcohol industry working collaboratively with local authorities and the police to promote responsible drinking and higher professional licensing standards in bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants.
The award for Best New Scheme is open to regional schemes that have been running for less than 18 months. Best Bar None was introduced to Cumbria to benefit the evening and night-time economy by improving safety and vigilance amongst the region’s personal licence holders. The scheme originally set out to accredit 12 venues in its first year, but it has already outstripped that goal, boasting 17 sites on its books by November.
As well as improving safety in the area, the fledgling scheme has also teamed up with Age Concern to better support the region’s elderly community, providing food, warmth and companionship over the winter months.
Scott Adams, the scheme’s co-coordinator for Cumbria, said: “This is fantastic news, we’re absolutely delighted to have won! After only a few months of operating the scheme, we saw measurable reductions in crime across Cumbria and my fellow coordinator, Mitch Franks, and I are really looking forward to what we can achieve in our second year of running the scheme.
“We’ve had great feedback from the venues that have joined Best Bar None so far, as well as our local police. Everyone is really happy with the general feeling of cooperation between the evening and night-time economy trade and the local authorities.”
Lord Smith of Hindhead, Philip Smith, Chairman of Best Bar None, said: “The national awards recognise and reward schemes for their commitment to Best Bar None and highlight their efforts to make towns and cities across the country safer and more desirable places to visit.
“All of the finalists have done incredibly well to make the shortlist, but Cumbria Best Bar None stood out in the eyes of the judges as being thoroughly deserving of this award. The team continues to maximise its impact on the local community and maintain strong and proactive relationships with licensees, the police and local authorities. My congratulations go to all of those involved.”
Best Bar None has been running for more than 16 years and there are currently active schemes encompassing hundreds of licensed premises over 70 towns and cities in England and Wales, as well as the new Central Scheme, which provides Best Bar None accreditation for businesses which are located outside a current scheme area. Premises are audited by trained assessors for operational standards, policies and procedures, as well as the education and training of staff.
A record nine regional finalists reached the three categories in the national awards this year, Best Overall Scheme, Most Innovative Scheme and Best New Scheme. The complete list of winners is as follows:
Best Overall Scheme
Presented to the scheme with the biggest impact on its local area.
Most Innovative Scheme
Awarded to the most creative concept or initiative introduced to make a difference in the local area.
Best New Scheme
Open to any scheme running for less than 18-months.