Barnsley has picked up the award for 'Best New Scheme' in this year's prestigious ‘National Best Bar None Awards’. The Awards took place at a special parliamentary reception at the House of Lords on Monday, 4 February.
Backed by the Home Office, Best Bar None has been working collaboratively with the alcohol industry, local authorities and the police for over 15 years. It promotes responsible drinking and higher professional licensing standards in bars, pubs, hotels, clubs and entertainment venues in over 70 towns and cities across the UK.
The National Awards are the highlight of the Best Bar None calendar. 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 that has been running for less than 18 months (£1,000)
Barnsley’s Best Bar None scheme was launched in November 2017 following a significant investment by Barnsley Council to redevelop the area and create a modern and vibrant town centre for residents and visitors alike.
The judges felt that the scheme’s focus on public health was commendable, and initiatives in this vein have included awarding bonus points to licensed premises for offering five low sugar non-alcoholic options, as well as signposting local drug and alcohol support services. Barnsley has also introduced a People's Choice award to give consumers the chance to engage with the scheme and vote for their favourite pub.
The trophy, certificate and £1,000 prize fund were collected by the scheme coordinator for Barnsley, Garreth Robinson, and Ben Dixon, manager at The Joseph Bramah pub in Barnsley, from chairman of Best Bar None, Lord Smith of Hindhead, and Sophie Goodall, Heineken UK.
National Coordinator for Best Bar None, Mick McDonnell, said: “Barnsley Council is clearly focused on regenerating the area to create a modern and vibrant town centre and Best Bar None plays a crucial part in that strategy. Very few schemes are led by the public health agenda and the measures that Barnsley has put in place to adopt a sensible drinking culture and to ensure that pubs, bars, and clubs understand their role in that is admirable. We look forward to seeing the scheme going from strength to strength.”
Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: “The Best bar None scheme offers a partnership approach to resolving alcohol issues in the town centre.
“Operating more responsibly can improve the profitability of individual businesses as well as the attractiveness of the town centre. It helps to promote Barnsley as a safe and vibrant place to go at night.”
Photo: BBN Best New Scheme - LR - Simon Barker, Manager, The Silkstone Inn; Laura Mason, Deputy Manager, The Joseph Bramah; Garreth Robinson, Coordinator of Barnsley BBN; Ben Dixon, Pub Manager, The Joseph Bramah