Best Bar None promotes responsible drinking and higher professional licensing standards in bars, pubs, hotels, clubs and entertainment venues in more than 70 towns and cities across the UK.
The Home Office-backed scheme’s annual awards, hosted at the House of Lords, distributed a prize fund of over £5,000 between three award-winning schemes on the night.
Plymouth’s Best Bar None scheme won this year’s award for 'Best Overall Scheme' and a £3,000 windfall – claiming the top prize for the second consecutive year after making the biggest impact on the local area over the past 12 months in the eyes of judges.
The scheme from Sheffield was highly commended in this category.
The award for Best Bar None’s ‘most innovative scheme’ – and a £1,000 prize – was claimed by Wrexham’s scheme, while Best Bar None Barnsley was recognised as the best newcomer – a prize open to any scheme that has been running for less than 18 months – also bagging £1,000 as a result.
Moreover, Simon Lane, city licensing manager for Exeter’s Best Bar None scheme, was singled out for the 'Outstanding Commitment Award'.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Lord Smith of Hindhead, chairman of Best Bar None, who said he was delighted to see the scheme go from strength to strength.
“Last October saw the launch of the new Central Scheme, which I am delighted to say means that Best Bar None can now accommodate venues that fall outside of the existing regional schemes,” he commented. “This is a major step forward for the scheme and we will be working hard to extend its reach in 2019.
“Other exciting news for this year is the launch of a pilot scheme with Manchester Airport Group. The aim of this partnership is to further improve standards of airside alcohol retailing across the UK’s biggest airport group and improve the travel experience for its 60m passengers.
"The national awards truly are the highlight of the Best Bar None calendar. To be named as one of the best-performing schemes on a national level is a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate all our winners for 2019.
“I look forward to seeing continued innovation from the schemes over the coming year."
Backed by the Home Office and funded by the industry and sponsors such as Diageo, Heineken, Pernod Ricard, Asahi, EI Group, JD Wetherspoon, Mitchells & Butler and Stonegate Pub Company, the scheme has been working collaboratively with the alcohol industry, local authorities and the police for more than 15 years.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid added: “People should be able to enjoy a night out safely and responsibly without the fear of being a victim of alcohol-related crime and disorder.
“The Home Office is committed to addressing this and I’m pleased to back the Best Bar None scheme and the partnership working it promotes.
“I also value the leadership Best Bar None has shown in raising the standards of licensed premises.”