Nottinghamshire has launched the Best Bar None scheme for 2016, with applications now being taken.
The scheme assesses all of the additional work that the staff at venues do to ensure their customers are as safe as possible. It was launched across the entire county area, excluding the city, last year. It is funded by the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Nottinghamshire, and Nottinghamshire County Council.
Examples of the criteria considered include how they train staff to deal with disorder, the measures they take to prevent theft or the steps they take to discourage drink driving.
The 2015 scheme was hailed a great success, with over 70 venues from all boroughs within Nottinghamshire county applying for accreditation.
The scheme recognised a winner in each borough, and of these, an overall scheme winner was chosen.
Borough winners were The Half Moon, Hucknall; The Ashley Hotel, Worksop; The Sherwin Arms, Stapleford; The Ernehale, Arnold; Rush Late Bar, Mansfield; The Grove Inn, Newark and The Country Cottage Hotel, Ruddington.
Charles and Jo Blakemore, landlords of The Ashleigh Hotel in Worksop, who won the overall scheme award in 2015, reported a financial benefit since winning the accolade.
Charles said: “We won’t hesitate to participate in the scheme again. It’s a great opportunity to ensure we are doing everything we can to take care of our customers when they visit and show people we run a responsible business that is also safe for them to use.
“We have even noticed an increase in trade since we won the county-wide Best Bar None award, so that alone has made it worthwhile.”
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, Committee Chairman for Community Safety at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “We were encouraged by a solid first year to this campaign and it is very pleasing to see venues enhancing the way they operate with Best Bar None. We hope many more will sign up to the scheme this coming year.”
The launch of the scheme coincides with the development of a dedicated app to enable visitors to the county to find the nearest accredited premises.
The free-to-download app lists all of the premises that made the grade in the scheme last year, with customers able to search by the type of place they would like to visit, with the results displayed according to distance or business name.
Users are then presented with a short description of each premises with a picture and contact details, to help inform their decision on where to visit.
It also contains helpful tips for nights out, such as how to get home, how to stay safe and what to do in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
Paddy Tipping, PCC for Nottinghamshire, said: “Best Bar None is one of a number of initiatives that I have supported to help people enjoy a safe night out in Nottinghamshire, which is what we all want to see. Now they will be able to access information when they are out and about as well to help them choose a responsibly managed pub or club. I’ve looked at it and it’s really clever – I think it will prove popular with young people and those searching for a suitable venue for the whole family.”
In addition to the app, venues are promoted on the Best Bar None website and are given a certificate to display in their premises to promote their status.
Alongside the promotional benefits of the scheme, venues have found it has enabled them to develop better relationships with the police and council licensing teams, and it provides a talking point with customers, who are all impressed to hear all of the things that venues do to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable time.
Interested venues can apply online at www.nottinghamshirebbn.com.
The app is available on the App Store and Google Play.