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Date: 6th April 2021

To support venues in your area to open safely and compliantly, Best Bar None have worked with licensing consultant and BBN board member David Lucas, plus licensing specialists from Broxtowe, Mansfield and Newark & Sherwood borough councils to produce a digital reopening support tool.

This is an online survey style assessment which takes licensees through the essential licensing and covid compliance checks to reopen under the requirements in Step 2 of the English government roadmap. On completion, if there are any areas to be addressed before reopening, these are included in a short PDF report.

Please feel free to try out the tool yourself and share this link with your venues, it is completely free of charge. 


Step 2 Reopening Support Tool


If you are a current scheme and would like a bespoke link created so that the report your venues receive has your specific scheme logo on it, please contact

An additional tool will be developed shortly which will address the 17th May Step 3 requirements.

Date: 19th March 2021

Please see below a series of free reopening and recovery webinars organised by Best Bar None, the Institute of Licensing, National Pubwatch, Purple Flag and other industry partners and featuring expert speakers from the trade associations and Home Office plus licensing, environmental health, HR and recruitment professionals, hospitality training experts and operators of licensed premises.
Sessions include helping you understand regulations when reopening, refreshing your staff on topics such as responsible alcohol retailing and conflict management, what reopening could look like, covid, health & safety, food and fire safety tips and Q&As and more. See below for the available sessions. Also available through are free resources to support your reopening. See here for more details.

The British Institute of Inkeeping has also created some resources to help businsses reopen safely as well as tips and guidance on how to promote your reopening through. Visit to see more information.

View the full webinar programme here.

The impact of COVID & forecasting the future - Monday 22nd March 2pm

CGA Strategy and UK Hospitality look at the impact of the pandemic on the leisure, licensed retail and hospitality sectors so far and what the reopening may look like, including predicted consumer behaviour based on research findings.
More info & book.

Noise vs Vibrancy - managing expectations - Wednesday 24th March 2pm

Join an expert panel as they explore considerations and management of noise generated by venues by reopening, especially as neighbours may have become used to “Covid quiet”.
More info & book.

Top Tips for Hospitality Recruitment - Monday 29th March 2pm

Hospitality recruitment expert Dawn Redman of Hospitality Jobs UK shares her top tips when recruiting for your venue.
More info & book.

Premises licence conditions and restrictions - Monday 29th March 2pm

Join the Institute of Licensing's panel to discuss licence conditions and restrictions and how they work in practice, including the opportunity to ask any licensing questions you may have.
More info & book.

Business support, marketing and pivoting - Wednesday 31st March 2pm

Information about the financial support available, with an opportunity for questions. Hear from Tim Foster of Yummy Pubs and Mark Holden of Inn Cornwall on pivoting and diversifying their businesses.
More info & book.

COVID, health & safety, fire & food safety support - Tuesday 23rd March 2pm

Hear from Rob Easton, an Environmental Health expert from Shield Safety Group. This session includes an opportunity to ask questions about any of these topics to help you reopen safely and in a compliant way.
More info & book.

Pavement licensing, off sales & deliveries (England) - Thursday 25th March 2pm

This session will focus on pavement licensing, off-sales and deliveries, including a Q&A with the Home Office, the Institute of Licensing, UK Hospitality, NALEO, Kings Chambers and the BBPA.
More info & book.

Reopening your venue with the BII and HIT Hospitality - 22nd - 25th March 11am each day

A series of practical sessions with different topics each day to help you prepare your licensed venue to reopen.
More info & book.

Customer service and managing behaviour and vulnerability - Tuesday 30th March 2pm

This refresher training session for licensed premises staff will provide positive techniques to deal with issues in your venue, and de-escalate any conflict that may arise, together with spotting and managing vulnerability.
More info & book.

Responsible alcohol retailing, age verification & refusals - Thursday 1st April 2pm

A refresher session for staff of licensed premises from National Pubwatch, we will cover individual responsibility when retailing alcohol, age verification and refusal of service including intoxication and proxy sales.
More info & book.


Date: 15th January 2021


Contact email and details on how to apply are below.

There is now further funding available for eligible SMEs in Enterprise M3 LEP for the Visitor Economy (Kickstart Tourism).

Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), eligible SMEs can access grants of between £1,000 - £3,000 (up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances) for specialist advice or equipment/technology. Please note that due to this grant being funded by ERDF some of the eligibility criteria is shown in Euros. You can use this link to convert from GBP to Euros

This funding aims to support SMEs affected by Covid-19 to respond to the immediate challenges they face; and to adapt, diversify or repurpose in order to strengthen their capacity to recover. Ultimately, the project objective is to support the economy by helping SMEs to recover and rebuild, safeguarding jobs and opportunities for the future.

This grant funding scheme is being delivered by Exemplas Ltd on behalf of Enterprise M3 LEP.

The call opens on Monday 30th November 2020 and will be open for submission of your full applications and your quote by 23.59 on Friday 22nd January 2021.

Eligible, fully-complete applications will be assessed in the order in which they are returned to Exemplas. Due to the high level of applications expected, we will be unable to take applications to the next stage if application forms are incomplete or more information is required.

We encourage all applicants to check through the eligibility criteria, pre-application information and FAQs on our website to ensure your application has the best chance of being successful.

Eligible fully completed applications will be assessed in the order that they arrive.

We will not be able to provide feedback if your application is not complete.

Please submit your completed application and accompanying documents/quote as soon as it is ready.

Who is eligible for this grant?

  • SMEs (this includes third sector organisations, social enterprises and trading charities) trading within the LEP area
  • Businesses operating in an excluded sector i.e. nuclear, tobacco, airport infrastructure (see ERDF regulation 1301/2013 Art 3(3), fishery and aquaculture sector, undertakings involved in the primary production of agricultural products, undertakings active in the sector of processing and marketing of agricultural products will not be eligible.
  • If your business has received state aid in the last 3 years the total should not be in excess of €200,000. Businesses exceeding this level of state aid funding will not be eligible. Click here for more information on state aid.'
  • This grant is only available to businesses which have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.
  • Must be able to demonstrate that the business has the potential to survive Covid-19 and rebuild
  • Your business must have been trading prior to February 2020
  • Minimum grant amount £1,000 £3,000 (up to £5,000 in exceptional circumstances) ( see FAQs on our website for the definition criteria)
  • Activity being claimed for must not have been started/committed prior to your application being approved
  • All Activities must be completed, paid for, and grant claim submitted by 16th February 2021
  • Your staff headcount must be below 250FTE, businesses with more than 250 employees will not be eligible.
  • Your business must have a balance sheet of below €43million.
  • Your business must have a turnover of below €50million.
  • Your business must have a trading address in the Enterprise M3 LEP area.

Please note:
The Visitor Economy (Kickstart Tourism) grant is for those businesses who operate in the visitor economy, which includes businesses related to the tourism or visitor sector, or businesses/organisations which operate in support of the above. Examples of supporting businesses could include gift shops attached to a visitor attraction, or ice cream vans operating on the periphery of a tourist premises.

A list of SIC codes that are eligible for the visitor economy grant is available here.

What expenditure/activity is eligible?

  • • Review of the business strategy / operating mode
  • • Strategic review of business models
  • • HR, financial or legal advice
  • • Coaching & mentoring in leadership & management development / Change management
  • • Innovation strategy to adapt and diversify products/services of new technology
  • • Developing or revising marketing/digital strategies to reach new markets
  • • Mitigating the impact of social distancing measures
  • • Rebuilding a viable business model
  • • Developing product offerings
  • • Legal and environmental health compliance
  • • Skills analysis and development plans
  • • Workforce management
  • • Employee engagement, welfare and wellbeing
  • • Minor equipment to adapt or adopt new technology in order to continue to deliver business activity or diversify

For the Visitor Economy (Kickstart Tourism) grant, activity could also include:

All the above plus:

  • Support for SMEs with productivity improvements such as enhanced use of digital tools such as yield management software, mentoring, networking or other measures
  • Support to develop innovative delivery in a socially distanced economy for example, new ways of delivering cultural events and festivals that are so critical to the visitor experience

Items which are not eligible include PPE and IT equipment unless specifically required to adapt to a COVID-safe environment.

Please note:

  • The grant must cover 100% of the cost of the service or product and cannot be used to part-fund expenditure.
  • Grants can only be used for new activity and cannot fund activity already being undertaken.
  • Activity/work you claim for should not be commissioned until your business has received an offer letter.
  • If successful, following a formal grant application, grant funding will be paid upon production of a paid invoice for the service or item you have procured with evidence of the payment from the bank account used to pay the invoice.

What is the application process?

Before requesting an application form, please ensure you can answer yes to the following statements:

  • You have read and meet the criteria for the grant
  • Your business has been impacted negatively by Covid-19 and able to evidence it
  • Provide evidence that the company was financially stable at December 2019
  • You have a project/activity in mind that will help to overcome these challenges, and are seeking one quote to be submitted with your application
  • The project/activity will be completed, paid for, and a claim submitted to Exemplas by 16th February 2021
  • The project will create and/or safeguard jobs, and/or create new products and services
  • We can share your information with our Growth Hub Partners
  • Your business trading address is within the Enterprise M3 LEP area

Funding is limited and we are expecting a high volume of applications. To improve the chances of being successful, please ensure that your application clearly sets out how you intend to use the grant funding requested in order to respond to the pandemic; and to help your business to adapt and recover, following the impact of the pandemic.

You will need to include details of what the funding will help your business to achieve and the specific benefits that will occur as a result.

Please request an application form by sending an e-mail to and include the information in the box below (text in red as an example). Please note, in requesting this information you confirm that you meet all the eligibility criteria set out above and have read and understood the terms and conditions at the bottom of this page.

Business name
Skye Ltd

Business trading address
Unit 10 Barclay Gardens Walton-on-Thames Surrey

Post code: KT12 2PQ

Local Authority Borough/District of trading address. This grant is valid for the following boroughs: 

  • Basingstoke and Deane
  • East Hampshire
  • Elmbridge
  • Rushmoor
  • Guildford
  • Hart
  • Runnymede
  • Spelthorne
  • Surrey Heath
  • Test Valley
  • Woking
  • Waverley
  • Winchester

Contact name
Jo Smith

Mobile number

Email address


Business registration No/ PAYE/VAT/UR/CO House (if available)

Date of registration
6th July 2015

Legal status

Marketing & PR

You must include your business details in your email. Once your email has been received by Exemplas, you will then be sent within one working day an application form to complete and return by the deadline.

Application deadline: The deadline for submitting your completed application form and quote is 23.59 on 22nd January.

Please submit your one quote for the work required together with your application.

Applications will be reviewed and assessed based on meeting the eligibility criteria and requirements set out above, please note if you are not successful you will be notified and included on a LEP area waiting list in case of more funding becoming available.
If you do not meet the eligibility criteria you will be notified that your application has been rejected.

What happens if my business is successful in obtaining a grant?
If your application is successful, you will be notified by Exemplas and sent details of the next steps. Activity/work you claim for should not be commissioned until your business has received an offer letter. Please note, funds will only be paid upon production of an invoice for the service or item you have claimed against.

What if my business is not eligible or unsuccessful in obtaining a grant?
We are unable to provide individual feedback. However, if unsuccessful or ineligible for this grant, our team of experienced business advisers would be happy to provide advice on other support or funding options that may be available to you. Click here to contact us about other support for your business.

Terms and conditions:

  • Only one application can be made per business. Multiple attempts to apply may invalidate all applications for your business.
  • Grants must be claimed by 16th February 2021 after receiving confirmation that your application has been accepted unless agreed otherwise.
  • The grant must cover 100% of the service your business is procuring (up to a maximum total project value of £5,000). This grant cannot be used to part-fund expenditure.

Date: 14th December 2020

The Government has introduced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ located in tiers 2 and 3.

‘Wet led’ pubs are businesses that predominantly serve alcohol rather than providing food.

The payment will be a one-off for December and will be paid in addition to the Local Restrictions Business Support grants.

Grant scheme criteria

To apply, businesses must be classified as a traditional pub or public house which:

  • opens to the general public
  • allows free entry (other than when occasional entertainment is provided)
  • allows drinking without requiring food to be consumed
  • permits drinks to be purchased at a bar.

For the purposes of this grant, the definition of a 'pub' excludes: restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels, snack bars, guest houses, boarding houses, sporting venues, music venues, festival sites, theatres, museums, exhibition halls, cinemas, concert halls, casinos or similar.

Businesses which qualify for the one-off grant

  • Pubs that receive less than 50% of their income from food sales during normal non-COVID trading.
  • Pubs that pay business rates and receive a business rate bill.

Businesses which do not qualify for the one-off grant

  • Pubs that receive more than 50% of their income from food sales during normal non-COVID trading.
  • Pubs in areas moving from Tier 1 to Tier 2 or Tier 3 after 29 December 2020.
  • Businesses that have already received grant payments that equal the maximum levels of state aid permitted under the de minimis, the COVID-19 Temporary State Aid Framework and all other UK schemes under the terms of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework.
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking off notice has been made.

How to apply

Grant applications must be made online by the rate payer listed on the business rates bill.

To apply for the grant, the business’s accounts must be submitted with the application and show income prior to 11 March 2020.

The scheme eligibility period ends on 28 December 2020 and the closing date for applications is 31 January 2021.

Apply for a Christmas support payment for wet-led pubs

Date: 21st September 2020

Some types of venues now have a legal duty to ask all customers and visitors to provide contact details, and to display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can check into a venue using the NHS Covid-19 app.

Customer logs will now be mandatory from Friday 18 September 2020 and QR codes will be mandatory from Thursday 24 September 2020, when the NHS app launches. This currently applies if you provide:

  • hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure services, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • facilities provided by Local Authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

An alternative check-in method, such as a handwritten register, must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app.

QR posters are unique to each venue. Businesses can download posters for each of their premises from the following website: All businesses are encouraged to start downloading and printing posters now so that they are ready for when the app launches.

Further information about the use of QR codes and the NHS app can be found on the NHS website here: For those with questions, please visit  

For general Covid-19 information for businesses, including details of these new measures, please visit

Please contact Environmental Health on 01483 743840 or if you have any further questions.

Date: 1st July 2020

You can now apply for a free UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to reassure your customers that your business adheres to Government and public health guidance.

To support you as you work towards re-opening and welcoming customers, the 'We’re Good To Go’ COVID-19 industry standard and consumer mark is now available to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for businesses, attractions and destinations as well as reassurance to local residents and visitors that clear processes are in place and that as a business you are good to go.

If your business operates in England and you have read and implemented the Government’s COVID-19 reopening guidance, understand the guidance from Public Health England and have a COVID-19 Risk Assessment in place, you can apply for the industry standard mark by simply completing a self-assessment through the online  self-assessment platform. This includes a checklist confirming you have put the necessary processes in place. You will then receive a certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark to display on your premises and online.

The 'We're Good To Go' also shares resources which focus on practical guidance to help tourism and hospitality businesses reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A separate application is required for all of your sites as it is essential that each General Manager or site lead understand what needs to be in place and if you operate in different parts of the United Kingdom respective national guidance, including social distancing and cleanliness protocols, must be in place. In England, your business must align with the UK Government’s official guidance for the sector including ‘Working Safely during COVID-19: Visitor Economy’. An ‘alert’ system ensures that if you are signed-up to the standard, you will be notified if there are changes to the official guidance. A call-handling service will provide you with support and assessors will also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure your business is adhering to the guidance.

Date: 25th June 2020

Best Bar None have created risk assesment guidance for local licenced premieses to support them in re-opening on the 4th July.

The guidance identifies controls you could implement to minimise the possibility of spreading COVID-19 in a licensed premises.

However, it should not just be adopted in its entirety without specific thought and assessment of what is appropriate for your premises and once completed, share on your website or through social media, to give customers reassurance.

Download a copy here.

Date: 9th June 2020

Pubs, bars, nightclubs, and restaurants have been closed for on-trade activities for several weeks. The government has stated that the earliest the trade will be permitted to open is the 4th July, however we await further announcements. Many premises are now asking: what can we do now to prepare for reopening?

Best Bar None UK are running a free interactive session to provide you with some ideas and tips on what you can be doing now to prepare for reopening, things you may want to think about, and other specific considerations for the licensed trade. We will also signpost you to support that you can access through the Best Bar None network.

It will cover:

  • Key challenges
  • People - staff related considerations
  • Place - how areas are preparing to reopen
  • Permissions - licensing considerations 
  • Profitability - financial measures and support
  • Premises - adjustments required
  • Policies, processes, and procedures
  • Products to support reopening
  • Promotion - generating buzz
  • Peer learning - learnings from other countries, businesses, and sectors
  • Q&A

The sessions will take place on the date below and last 1 hour, with more sessions planned if needed:

Date: 24th March 2020

In light of the current situation, we have taken the decision not go ahead with the Woking Best Bar Scheme in 2020.

From a resource perspective we do not feel that we would be able to run the scheme as in previous years. Council officers will be called upon to support different departments across the Council in helping residents and business of the Borough over the forthcoming weeks and months.

When the time is right, we will look to regroup and start to plan again for a future scheme.

Night  Time Economy Solutions have put together some resouces on their blog to help businesses within the hospitality sectore.  It contains information, guidance, links to resources and things you can be doing during this troubling time.

Date: 15th January 2020

Woking’s outstanding pubs, bars and restaurants were crowned Woking’s best during the glittering Woking Best Bar None 2019 awards last night (Tuesday 14 January).

Supported by the Home Office and the drinks industry, Best Bar None promotes the responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises, whilst developing positive partnerships between the police, local authorities and the licensed trade.

The Woking Best Bar None Award winners (L-R ) The Sovereigns, The Garibaldi, Cellar Magneval and Chennai Dosa Artisanz.

The winners for each award are:

Local licensed premises that entered the scheme were assessed against a set of criteria in order to become Best Bar None Gold, Silver, or Bronze accredited. Each Gold accredited venue was assessed and scored by a team of judges, combined with a mystery shopping score, with the highest scoring in each category winning the award.

In addition to the awards given from the judging panel, the Asahi UK Social Responsibility Award recognised the venue that has gone above and beyond in their local community, and the Woking News and Mail People’s Choice Award has been decided by members of the public.

Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “Building on the success of last year, Woking Best Bar None is a fantastic opportunity for venues to build their reputation by becoming either Gold, Silver or Bronze accredited venues.

“I would like to offer my congratulations to the winners of this year’s awards, and to all those who were accredited. Best Bar None recognises the important contribution venues across the borough make to Woking’s leisure and night-time economy, and helps to create a vibrant, thriving and safe environment for both customers and venues.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to our sponsors and supporters. Without their continued support, we would not be able to operate the scheme.”

Speaking about the awards evening, Lord Smith of Hindhead, Philip Smith, Chairman of Best Bar None, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to all the finalists and winners in this year’s Woking Best Bar None Awards. I would also like to thank all Best Bar None accredited venues for their commitment to the scheme. By working collaboratively with local authorities and the police to promote responsible drinking and higher professional licensing standards, accredited pubs, bars and clubs in Woking are undoubtedly helping to make the area a safer and more desirable place to visit.

“I would like to thank each and every one of you here today for your commitment to Best Bar None and for your hard work in ensuring Woking’s leisure and night-time economy continues to thrive and prosper. I look forward to your continuing support and to hearing more about the ongoing success of the Woking scheme.” 

The scheme is sponsored by Asahi UK, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Woking News and Mail, Air Social, and #WeAreWoking. The scheme is also supported by Surrey Police and Woking Street Angels.

Open to all pubs, bars and restaurants licensed by Woking Borough Council, Best Bar None is a national accreditation and award scheme. For further information about the Woking Best Bar None scheme, please email, call 01483 743487.

Date: 11th November 2019

It’s time to raise your glass to your favourite bar, restaurant or pub as the Woking News and Mail People’s Choice Award, part of the Woking Best Bar None scheme, opens.

Over 20 restaurants, bars and pubs across the borough have registered for this year’s Woking Best Bar None scheme.

Premises are in the process of being assessed and those meeting the Best Bar None criteria will be accredited as Gold, Silver or Bronze. As well as the People’s Choice Award, venues that receive Gold accreditation will have the opportunity to win one of six other awards, chosen by an independent panel of expert judges. Awards will be presented at the glittering Woking Best Bar None Awards evening for each of the following categories:

  • Overall Best Bar None
  • Woking News & Mail’s Peoples’ Choice
  • Best Town Centre Pub
  • Best Local Pub
  • Best Bar
  • Best Dining Experience
  • Asahi UK Social Responsibility Award.

Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said, said: “Woking Best Bar None is a fantastic way to promote and encourage the responsible management and operation of licensed premises across the borough. The scheme recognises and celebrates premises who make a difference to our community and helps make Woking a safe and social place to enjoy an evening out.

“It’s now over to the public to cast their vote for their favourite restaurant, bar or pub to see who is recognised as the most popular venue in Woking.”

Woking Best Bar None is sponsored by Asahi UK Ltd, and supported by the Woking News & Mail, and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey.

As part of the accreditation assessment points are awarded for steps taken to prevent crime and disorder, plans for ensuring public safety, dealing with public nuisance, demonstrating steps to protect children from harm, social responsibility and staff training.

Voting has now closed.

Date: 4th October 2019

It’s Gold for The Garibaldi in Knaphill and The Cricketers in Horsell as Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, presented the first two Gold accreditations in the search for Woking’s Best Bar None 2019.

Woking Best Bar None 2019 - gold accreditation - Cllr Kevin Davis - Maddie Moise - Martin Durrad

(L- R) Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council – Maddie Moise, The Cricketers – Martin Durrad, The Garibaldi

Both venues met the criteria for Gold accreditation. The on-the-spot assessment, carried out by Best Bar None assessors, showed high standards in:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Public safety
  • Prevention of public nuisance
  • Child protection
  • Social responsibility
  • Staff training.

All licensed premises that receive Gold accreditation have the chance to become ‘best in category’ at the glittering Woking Best Bar None Awards evening. In addition, members of the public have the opportunity to vote for their favourite venue via the Woking News and Mail People’s Choice Award which will be launching soon.

The seven award categories are:

  • Overall Best Bar None
  • Woking News & Mail’s Peoples’ Choice
  • Best Town Centre Pub
  • Best Local Pub
  • Best Bar
  • Best Dining Experience
  • Asahi UK Social Responsibility Award.

Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “I am delighted to present the first two Gold accreditations for the 2019 scheme to The Garibaldi and The Cricketers. The Woking Best Bar None scheme helps to create a vibrant, thriving and safe environment for both customers and venues, and recognises the important contribution that venues across the borough make to Woking’s vibrant leisure and night-time economy.”

Ben Jenkins, UK Head of Corporate Communications at Asahi UK Ltd (Best Bar None 2019’s lead sponsor) said: “The Best Bar None scheme aims to promote the responsible management and operation of licensed premises, and strengthen partnerships in the community. I would like to congratulate the first two Gold accredited venues and look forward to seeing further accreditations and celebrating the winners.”

Martin Durrad, Landlord at The Garibaldi (Overall Best Bar None Award winner for 2018) said: “Being accredited Gold as part of Best Bar None is invaluable to us as a business and since being accredited and winning the overall award last year we have seen trade increase as a result. The Best Bar None team were incredibly helpful in all aspects of the scheme and accreditation, and we were delighted to receive Gold again this year.”

Maddie Moise, Assistant Manager at The Cricketers (Best Dining Experience winner for 2018) said: “The Best Bar None scheme is brilliant. We are delighted to have received Gold accreditation. We’re always working hard at The Cricketers to ensure our customers have the best possible experience with us and the Best Bar None scheme gives customers reassurance and confidence that the venues they are visiting are responsibly managed and endorsed.”

Date: 22nd May 2019

The search is on to find the borough’s best licensed premises, as Woking Best Bar None accreditation and awards scheme was launched at lead sponsor, Asahi UK’s, Woking head office (Tuesday 21 May).

Woking Best Bar None Launch

Mick McDonnell (Best Bar None UK), Tom Harding (Asahi UK) and Cllr Kevin Davis (Woking Borough Council) at the Woking Best Bar None 2019 Launch (21 May 2019)

Pubs, bars and restaurants from across the borough are encouraged to apply to the accreditation scheme and work towards being recognised as Woking’s best.

Best Bar None is a national accreditation and awards scheme supported by the Home Office and the drinks industry. The scheme aims to promote the responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises that support Woking’s vibrant and diverse night-time economy, whilst strengthening partnership working between licensed premises and public bodies.

To become Woking Best Bar None accredited, licensed premises must first apply through an assessment process to determine whether they meet an agreed set of operational standards. Once assessed, they will become either a Gold, Silver or Bronze Woking Best Bar None accredited venue.

All licensed premises that receive Gold accreditation have the chance to become ‘best in category’ at the glittering Woking Best Bar None Awards evening, chosen by an independent panel of judges. In addition, members of the public have the opportunity vote for their favourite venue via the Woking News and Mail People’s Choice Award. 

The seven award categories are:

  • Overall Best Bar None
  • Woking News & Mail’s Peoples’ Choice
  • Best Town Centre Pub
  • Best Local
  • Best Bar
  • Best Dining Experience
  • Asahi UK Social Responsibility Award

Cllr Kevin Davis, Woking Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, said: “Woking Best Bar None is a fantastic initiative that’s aimed at improving standards in licensed venues across the Borough to help create a vibrant, thriving and safe environment for both customers and venues.

“Following the success of last year’s scheme, where 11 licensed premises achieved gold accreditation, I would encourage all local pubs, bars and restaurants to apply for Woking Best Bar None.

“Achieving accreditation, either Gold, Silver or Bronze, demonstrates the seriousness and commitment with which you operate your business – it’s a superb way to build your reputation both publicly and within the trade.”

Licensed premises can sign up to Woking Best Bar None now.

Date: 25th April 2019

Gold plaques gleamed in celebration of Woking’s top venues at the Best Bar None Awards, held at the WWF Living Planet Centre on Tuesday 16 October 2018.

Sponsored by Asahi UK Ltd and supported by the Woking News & Mail, Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Best Bar None recognises premises in Woking that are great places for all residents of the Borough to enjoy an evening out.

Woking Best Bar None Winners

Winners of 2018 Woking Best Bar None Awards. From left to right; The Red Lion, The Cricketers, The Sovereigns, The Mayor of Woking Cllr Will Forster, Cellar Magneval, The Garibaldi and David Munro, Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner

Best Bar None winner’s list 2018

All of the 17 participating bars, pubs and restaurants were assessed by qualified Best Bar None assessors to judge how well they met licensing, safety and responsible retailing criteria. Points were awarded for steps taken to prevent crime and disorder; plans for ensuring public safety; dealing with public nuisance like noise, litter and waste; and demonstrating steps to protect children from harm, such as having a robust proof of age policy in place.

All venues that met the Woking Best Bar None criteria were then permitted to display a gold, silver or bronze sticker in their premises window. An independent panel of judges then chose the cream of the crop to be awarded the prestigious title of Best in Category.

Patrons were also given the opportunity to show their appreciation to their favourite establishment by voting for them in the Woking News & Mail People’s Choice Award. Voters were entered into a free prize draw to win a weekend away for two in a luxury hotel in Dartmoor National Park or a runner up prize of £100 of vouchers to spend in any two Best Bar None award winning pubs of their choice.

Attending the awards ceremony were Cllr Debbie Harlow, Chair of Woking Borough Council’s Licensing Committee, Mayor of Woking, Cllr Will Forster, Cllr Kevin Davis, Mike Randels, Finance Director of Asahi UK, Dr David Munro, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey and Catherine Richardson, President of Woking Chamber of Commerce. The evening was hosted by Mick McDonnell, National co-ordinator for Best Bar None.

Congratulating the winners, Cllr Debbie Harlow, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Thank you to every licensed premises across the Borough that took part in these awards and my warmest congratulations to the winners.

“The awards are more significant than simply identifying the best establishments to visit, they acknowledge the huge contribution that these bars, pubs and eateries make to the leisure and night time economy of the Borough.

“Whether a winning establishment or not, simply by participating in the scheme, our licensees and their teams are helping to ensure that the Borough remains a safe, responsible place to live, work and play.”

For further information about Woking Best Bar None,please contact Woking Best Bar None’s team on 01483 743487 or email