The Torbay Best Bar None scheme has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Overall Scheme’ and ‘Most Innovative Scheme’ in the prestigious Best Bar None Awards, it has been announced. The next round of judging will take place in January, before the winner is announced at a ceremony held in the House of Lords on Tuesday 4thFebruary.
This year the region faces competition from Sheffield and Tower Hamlets, as to which scheme has had the biggest overall impact in its community in the last 12 months and Barnsley, Bolton and Plymouth, for the most creative or innovative concept.
There have been a record nine regional finalists announced ahead of this instalment of the awards, with each of the three categories, Best Overall Scheme, Most Innovative Scheme and Best New Scheme, seeing a year on year increase in the number of successful entries.
Torbay has not only seen an increase of members over the last year but has also focussed on forming partnerships within the community and developing effective outreach to the general public.
By generating sufficient income from ticket sales to its regional awards ceremony, Torbay has also been able to fund assessments for up to 50 venues and is now in a position to budget for other projects, like training and development, scheme promotion, membership recruitment, as well as supporting its charity partners, such as Torbay Street Pastors.
Tracey Pounds, Scheme Coordinator for Torbay, said: “We feel that 2019 has been our most successful yet. Our self-funded video campaign which we worked on throughout the summer was premiered at our awards ceremony in October and has already had over 4,000 views. The simple, yet effective message of the video alone is one of our proudest achievements.
“Through it we demonstrated the professionalism and teamwork which scheme members deploy each night, as well as generating awareness amongst the general public of not only of what goes on behind the scenes but the benefits of the Best Bar None scheme as a whole.”
Lord Philip Smith, Chairman of Best Bar None, said: “It is always fantastic to see such a good turnout for our annual awards. I want to highlight the importance of commending those schemes that are doing such a wonderful job. The impact that Best Bar None has in towns and cities today – making them more safe and desirable places to go – is just as relevant and valuable as the day it started and it is those on the ground, in our regional offices, we have to thank for that.
“It is particularly encouraging to see last year’s finalist for ‘Best New Scheme’, Torbay, included in the shortlists for ‘Best Innovative Scheme’ and ‘Best Overall Scheme’ this year. It just goes to show that new schemes are popping up successfully all the time, developing relationships with local authorities and going on to make a big difference in their communities – which is exactly what we want from Best Bar None.”
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.
It has been running for more than 16 years and there are currently active schemes encompassing hundreds of licensed premises across over 70 towns and cities in England and Wales. Premises are audited by trained assessors for operational standards, policies and procedures, as well as the education and training of staff.