The hard work's been worth it – Portsmouth's now safer

A glitzy red carpet ceremony saw months of hard work celebrated at the Best Bar None Awards.

Since the awards launch last September 45 venues across Portsmouth have been working hard to be named the best of the best.

Run by Portsmouth City Council and backed by The News, the scheme aims to cut binge-drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence in the city.

It encourages, pubs, club, bars and restaurants to work with the council, fire service and police to ensure their venue is the safest it can possibly be.

And it has been declared a huge success, with Jongleurs at Gunwharf Quays involved in a massive turn-around to become the overall winner.

Just a year ago the club was threatened with closure after a string of fights and bar workers serving drunk people.

Declaring the initiative a huge success BBN co-ordinator Lindsay McCurdy, from Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘There’s been a lot of hard work from everyone involved but it’s all been worth it.

‘Over the past few months the venues involved have been taking part in a variety of courses including first aid and how to escort people off the premises without injuries.

‘I think some venues may have been put off signing up this year because they thought they were being scrutinised and that assessors would be looking for fault, but that’s not the case at all. It’s all about working with the venues to help them make any improvements that can be made.

‘Everyone who took part this year worked very hard and next year we hope to see even more venues join us in making Portsmouth a safer place to go out when we start up again in September.’

Many of the venues involved also raised money for five chosen BBN charities. They were the Tom Prince Cancer Trust, Innscape, Make a Wish Foundation, Mad Hatters Tea Party and the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.