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Winchester venues accredited with Best Bar None Winchester status with O’Neill’s taking the crown as overall winners!

The evening of Wednesday 2nd September, saw the second year of the Best Bar None Winchester Award Ceremony, celebrated at Winchester’s prestigious Guildhall venue.

This localised initiative, of this national scheme, saw various venues across the city accredited, including Alfie’s, The William Walker, The Slug and Lettuce, The Old Gaolhouse, The County Arms and O’Neill’s. The overall winner’s status for 2015 was awarded to O’Neill’s who demonstrated that their work goes above and beyond the essential (national benchmarked) criteria Best Bar None assess. Their winner’s plaque was accepted by Ursula Haller and her team of staff who were absolutely delighted by the result. This will be displayed on the exterior of their venue identifying their commitment to a safe, vibrant and enjoyable night –time economy within Winchester. As the winner’s  O’Neill’s will now go forward to the National Best Bar None Awards and a reception at the Houses of Parliament, which will take place in the early part of 2016.

The awards ceremony was well attended by accredited venues and supporters of the scheme, including, Hampshire Constabulary, Winchester City Council Licensing Team, Winchester Community Safety Team, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Best Bar None, members of PubWatch and other night-time establishments in Winchester.

Guests were treated to a drinks reception and delicious two course meal at Guildhall Winchester, with a welcome speech from Jane Bastock, Business Crime Reduction Officer at Winchester BID and Mick McDonnell, the National Coordinator of Best Bar None. Tim Hulme the Chief Executive of Best Bar None presented each accredited venue with a frosted glass trophy to celebrate their achievement.

The Best Bar None Winchester scheme is coordinated by Jane Bastock, in partnership with Andrew Hodgson and Gemma Taylor of the University of Winchester Student Union to deliver the scheme. Jane Bastock commented: ‘Each accredited venue shows a dedication to operating to a high standard with genuine regard for offering a safe environment for its customers and staff alike as well as the wider community. This ties in well with the cities ‘Purple Flag’ status, showing a real commitment to a safe night time economy. O’Neill’s have demonstrated a clear commitment to the scheme and consolidated on their participation from last year and wholeheartedly deserve their 2015 Overall Winners status’

All participating venues are regular attendees and supporters of the Winchester PubWatch Scheme, managed by Winchester BID. The group meets monthly with Winchester City Council, Hampshire Constabulary and local licensees. PubWatch exists to reduce crime, increase customer safety, enhance the customer experience, increase footfall and facilitate information sharing, ultimately the scheme has created unity across night time venues and is working effectively to protect the local night time economy with licenses and public services in the local community working collaboratively.

The scheme will run again in 2016 with further information on how to apply circulated in due course – if you would like to enquire about the scheme, please e-mail Jane Bastock, Crime Reduction Officer at:

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