Local businesses joined the Mayor of Barnsley, BBC's Steve White and council staff to celebrate two brilliant local award ceremonies – the Business Awards and the Best Bar None Awards at the Civic last Wednesday evening.
The night began with Ojay McDonald, Chief Executive of the Association of Town and City Management, presenting our Chief Executive Sarah Norman with the Purple Flag in recognition of the town retaining Purple Flag status for a third successive year.
The first awards to be given out were the Business Awards, which celebrated our business community's hard work and resilience through the COVID-19 pandemic. Local businesses, as well as being vital to the strength of our economy, are essential to the health, wellbeing and happiness of our borough and residents.
The pandemic forced many small businesses to adapt quickly and conscientiously to safety requirements to keep customers safe. Many became essential resources and sources of support for people in their communities while often dealing with their own difficult personal circumstances and worrying about their businesses' future.
The winners of the Business Awards were as follows:
- Sustainability Award – All Is Good
- Business Resilience – Frank Bird
- Community Business Award – Barnsley Premier Leisure
- COVID-19 start-up award – Thackray Animal Feeds
- Business Pivot Award – Passion Food Restaurant
- Lockdown Heroes Award – Yorkshire Rose Holidays
Following the interval, Best Bar None took centre stage. It’s a voluntary accreditation scheme supported by the Home Office, which recognises excellence in Barnsley's nightlife and accredited venues that show they are serious about safety and service. It ensures consistent standards are upheld across licensed premises in the town centre to drive improvements in the evening and night-time economy.
Becoming a Best Bar None accredited venue is not easy – a venue must meet certain standards, providing evidence against each one, but the benefits are significant. Venues' involvement in Best Bar None will provide Barnsley with a vibrant town centre where people who visit know they will have a great time and be well looked after.
Councillor Steve Green presented certificates to the 25 accredited town centre venues taking part in this year's scheme: Annie Murray's, Che Bar & Coco Nightclub, Cucina Sky Lounge/Market Kitchen, Esmeraldas, Falco Lounge, Favela Brazilian Grill, Fire Lounge, Funny Gals, Hill 16, Lemon Tree, Moodi's Cocktail Bar, Pour House 22, Rock and Reggae Bar, Secret Bar, Soul Lounge, The Corner Pin, The Courthouse, The Garrison, The Joseph Bramah, The Pavilion, The Silkstone Inn, Tin Oyle, Truth 32, Volt Nightclub and Wildcats.
The winners of the Best Bar None Awards were as follows:
- Best Late Night Venue – Che Bar & Coco Nightclub
- Best Pub from a National Company – The Joseph Bramah
- Best Newcomer – Moodi's Cocktail Bar
- Best Bar/Pub – Annie Murray's
- Best Dining Experience – Favela Brazilian Grill
- Best Small Venue – Moodi's Cocktail Bar
- Best Alternative Venue – Funny Gals
- People's Choice Award – Funny Gals
- Outstanding Contribution Award – Paul McNicholas
- Overall Winner – The Joseph Bramah
For the first time, Best Bar None extended into the wider borough, specifically the Dearne, where the following nine venues earned accreditation: The Corner Tap, Dearne Tap, Highgate Sports and Social Club, Unity (Dearne) Club, Bolton-on-Dearne Ex-Servicemen's and Social Club (Legion), Union Jack Memorial Club & Institute (Comrades), Thurnscoe Social and Ex-Servicemen's Club (CLOG), Thurnscoe WMC (Ship), Butcher's Arms.
The winners of the Best Bar None awards for the Dearne were as follows:
- Best Pub or Micro Pub – Corner Tap Goldthorpe
- Best Working Men's Club – Union Jack Memorial Club & Institute (Comrades)
- Best Family Venue - Bolton-on-Dearne Ex-Servicemen's and Social Club (Legion)
- Community Engagement Award – Highgate Sports and Social Club
- Dearne People's Choice – Corner Tap Goldthorpe
- Dearne Overall Winner – Butcher's Arms Thurnscoe
Councillor Sarah Tattersall, Mayor of Barnsley, said: "The past two years have been challenging, and it was fantastic to finally be able to come together and celebrate the resilience and hard work of our local business community.
"It was an amazing evening with so many people recognised for their efforts; a massive well done to those who won an award or received accreditation. The awards have shown how many brilliant people we have working hard to create a lively and diverse economy as we look to make Barnsley the place of possibilities."