Nottingham has the largest number of Best Bar None accredited venues in the country which is good news for visitors and residents as they reap the rewards of a more pleasurable, attractive, lively, and above all, safer place to visit and live. In Nottingham City, the scheme has been run by Nottingham BID since 2010, through their Managed City stream of delivery to help create a safe and welcoming city centre environment.

Best Bar None is a national initiative supported by the Home Office and drinks industry that aims to improve standards in the evening and night-time economy.

As part of the Home Office’s Safety of Women at Night (SWaN) initiative, Nottingham BID joined the Consent Coalition in a strategy to tackle violence against women and girls to deliver practical solutions to reduce the vulnerability of women visiting the city’s night-time economy. As part of the project, Nottingham BID  rolled out a free training programme to support businesses when facing these incidents.

Whilst businesses across Nottingham have pledged to do more to protect women and girls in their premises, the City of Nottingham is leading the way as the first city in the UK to include The Safe Space Pledge as part of the local Best Bar None accreditation. 

Under the heading of ‘Vulnerability Management and the Safety of Women at Night’, venues will now be measured on their ability to meet strict criteria to protect women and girls from harm and reduce vulnerability as part of the pledge.

To achieve Best Bar None status, venues have to demonstrate they have the correct policies and procedures in place to prove they are safe, responsible and well-operated - something that has become all the more important as the sector recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.

Premises which gain the highest score in their categoryBest Club, Best Restaurant, Best Live Entertainment Venue, Best Large Pub, Best Small Pub, Best Large Bar and Best Small Bar, will be secretly visited before going through an independent judging panel consisting of licensing professionals to arrive at a winner in each category. 

A new category has been introduced for 2022 and will be voted for by the industry workers: Community Champion.

The winners will be announced at a special event at The Albert Hall on 25 October 2022, to which all accredited venues are invited to.

In 2019 a record number of venues secured accreditation - with The Ned Ludd on Friar Lane crowned as the overall winner – giving Nottingham City Centre the largest number of accredited venues in the country and, an impressive 36% increase in participation over the previous year; Nottingham set the bar even higher for other cities to beat.

Alex Flint, CEO of Nottingham BID, said: “Licensed venues recognise the benefits of securing Best Bar None accreditation. Not only does it acknowledge all the efforts and hard work that they put into achieving high standards of operation, but it also conveys a positive message that Nottingham is a safe and vibrant place for a night out, encouraging more people to visit. Nowhere else in the country has a city included a pledge in the Best Bar None Scheme and this is a huge achievement for Nottingham. 

“Having 116 venues participate in the scheme last time is a clear demonstration that more venues than ever are committed to Best Bar None and to delivering safe and enjoyable nights out for their customers.”

All venues that are successful in gaining the accreditation will receive a certificate and window sticker for them to display to show that they are a Best Bar None venue. They will also be able to enjoy several benefits including publicity through Nottingham BID’s consumer-facing platform, It’s in Nottingham, which will promote the accredited places through an engaging social media campaign and enjoy increased footfall and turnover through the safe night-time economy. The scheme also helps to create a good working relationship with the police and local authorities and a reduction in the premiums for some insurance policies.

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