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Best Bar None - it's judgement time!
Friday 3rd August, 2012

Licensees across Wigan are waiting to find out if their premises are considered 'Best Bar None' when it comes to responsible management practices and safeguarding customers.

Altogether, twenty-one licensed premises in the town centre have applied for membership of the national accreditation scheme – and now it’s time for judges to decide which of the bars, clubs and pubs have make the grade.

Governed by the British Institute of Inn Keeping and approved by the Home Office, Best Bar None is a nationally recognised accreditation and award scheme which has a proven track record in improving standards and reducing crime in the night time economy across the country.

Premises are required to meet certain standards in operational management, particularly in relation to measures designed to reduce crime and disorder, prevent public nuisance, promote public safety, protect children from harm and raise awareness around alcohol consumption.

“Over the next couple of months, each of the twenty premises will be visited by assessors to ensure they meet the criteria required of them,” explains Joe Curran, Best Bar None co-ordinator.

“The team of assessors is made up of nominated representatives from Greater Manchester Police, Wigan Council, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and North West Ambulance Services, and they have all undertaken intensive training to ensure total consistency across the board.

Joe adds: “Whilst we want all of the premises to pass with flying colours, the scheme is designed to shed light on areas where perhaps there is a lack of attention to detail. For instance, there might be a requirement for staff to be trained in how to react when drugs are found on the premises. The Best Bar None assessment process can weed out these potential issues to ensure premises are compliant with the law and can share best practice.”

Wigan town centre is the latest addition to the scheme, which was first piloted in Manchester in 2003. Currently, more than 100 schemes have been introduced in town centres across the UK, and most recently two schemes have emerged in Canada.

Cllr Kevin Anderson, cabinet portfolio holder for safer communities, says:
“Many pubs, bars and clubs across Wigan town centre have applied for accreditation and it's now time to find which of those meet the standards required by Best Bar None assessors. By ensuring our premises run safe businesses, we will not simply help to reduce crime but also alcohol related hospital admissions attributed to illness and injury. This makes sound financial sense in an era when budgets across the entire public sector are stretched, it also means that an even greater number of visitors are likely to be attracted to our town centre because of its growing reputation as a safe and fun night time destination.”

Once Best Bar None accreditors agree which of the town centre premises meet the required standards of the scheme, then some of the borough's most senior community safety chiefs, including officers from the council, police and fire, will decide which of the premises are deemed the 'best of the best' in the three categories of pub, club and bar. The overall winners will be recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony on 16th October at the Orwell in Wigan.

Sponsors already confirmed to support the scheme include Diageo (GB) LWV Printworks & Britvic soft Drinks.

For further information visit: www.bestbarnone.com

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