Best Bar None Venues Champion best practice at their National Awards

Best Bar None Venues Champion best practice at their National Awards


A Kilmarnock venue has been recognised as the National Champion in Scotland by Best Bar None (BBN), a nation-wide scheme which “raises the bar” on standards in licensed venues across Scotland resulting in safer communities and a vibrant social economy.

The National scheme supports venues delivery of safe and inclusive social spaces, whilst rewarding social responsibility and duty of care.

Key Partners and trade from across Scotland celebrated the licenced trade’s achievements. It was a successful evening for Kilmarnock, which scooped the overall national winner with WG13, which also won the award for best Specialist Entertainment Venue (SEV). Kilmarnock also walked away with the best newcomer award with Brass and Granite.

At the awards ceremony for 2017-18 in Dunblane on Thursday March 29th, ten venues across Scotland were recognised as being amongst the premium venues in the country. The venues have considered not only their commitment and diligence in relation to their licensing commitments as key drivers for their businesses, but more importantly their customers.

Fifty-three finalists took part in the annual national awards across eleven award categories with venues represented in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, West Lothian, Kilmarnock, Renfrewshire, Falkirk, Stirling, Lockerbie and Dumfries, Fife and the Scottish Borders, Hamilton, and Airdrie.

There are eleven categories within the award scheme: Pub, Independent Pub, Bar, Independent Bar, Hotel, Night Club, SEV, Heart of the Community, Newcomer, Innovation in Social Responsibility and National Champion.

National Award Category winners were:

Premises Name

Local Area Scheme

Category Type

The Globe Inn



Black Bull Inn

West Lothian 

Independent Pub






Independent Bar

The Queens Head Hotel


Hotel Bar

The Garage


Night club



Specialist Entertainment Venue

The Kelburn

East Renfrewshire

Heart of the Community

Brass & Granite



Johnny Foxes and the Den


Innovation in Social Responsibility



National Champion

Three venues were also awarded the Platinum Awards that were introduced by Best Bar None last year to reward continued excellence. The winners were

Premises Name

Local Area Scheme


Black Bull Inn

West Lothian





Behind the Wall




The awards ceremony was introduced by Mandy Haeburn-Little, Chair of Best Bar None Scotland and CEO of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC).

Mandy Haeburn-Little said:

 “It is a great honour to reward all our Finalists and Winning venues tonight, demonstrating that across the country Best Bar None accredited venues are championing best practice and leading by example.

“I truly believe Best Bar None venues are driving positive change in our communities and creating safe social spaces with their commitment to providing a positive experience for their customers.

“The licensed trade is a key sector of Scottish business and we are very pleased to recognise this. The National Best Bar None Awards continues to raise the profile of the fantastic work our venues do in support of safe social spaces but in particular their innovation and social responsibility practices which impress the judges year on year.

“It is so impressive to see the standard of the applicants, the commitment of the teams involved and the hugely varied venues from different corners of Scotland being represented. Every year judging becomes more challenging given the high calibre of our finalists. I congratulate all of our fifty-three finalists for their excellent practice and our winners who have demonstrated that public safety and customer care are top of their priorities.

“By participating in Best Bar None our venues are changing the social landscape in Scotland and all our Finalists and Winners here tonight should be proud of their achievements.”

Drinkaware was the lead sponsor for this year’s awards and sponsored the Innovation in Social Responsibility category.

Rommel Moseley, Director of Business Development and Partnerships for Drinkaware commented:

“Drinkaware is delighted to be sponsoring the Innovation in Social Responsibility Award for the second year.

“It’s an award close to our hearts at Drinkaware and the eight finalists in this category from across Scotland have impressed the judges with their many valuable initiatives.

“This award recognises those venues that go the extra mile in relation to their social responsibility. These are venues that are offering new and effective ways of protecting the welfare of their customers - and the interests of their local community.

“The venues demonstrated measures for protecting their vulnerable customers to a commitment to partnership working and investing in staff training. They are all to be commended on their excellent work. 

“Congratulations to all and especially to the winners of the Innovation in Social Responsibility award, Johnny Foxes and the Den, who demonstrated strong evidence against all of the judging criteria and showed how their standards are having a positive impact on their customers and their local community.”

“Our judges were impressed by the venue’s very high level of personal commitment to reducing customer vulnerability and its personal approach to customer care.”

The Benevolent Society for Scotland’s Licensed Trade (BEN) sponsored the Best Newcomer category and Securigroup/SGL sponsored the Best Nightclub category, both valued supporters who have worked with the National Best Bar None Team to support the licensed trade on a continual basis.

The Platinum Awards were supported by Chivas Brothers-Pernod Ricard whereby the Nominees for this prestigious award support the ethos of Pernod Ricard “Createurs de convivialite” and demonstrate continuous excellence.

Edinburgh-based communications company Indigo became a media partner for the 2017-18 National Awards – a first in support of the National Awards.



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