BARNSLEY has been shortlisted for an award after raising the bar for an innovative scheme.

Best Bar None is a Home Office-backed scheme that sees the alcohol industry working collaboratively with local authorities and the police to promote responsible drinking and higher professional licensing standards in bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants.

Barnsley’s scheme has been shortlisted for the ‘Most Innovative Scheme’ in the prestigious Best Bar None Awards and if the scheme passes the next round of judging, which takes place this month, the winner will be announced at a ceremony held in the House of Lords on February 4.

Garreth Robinson, Barnsley’s scheme co-ordinator, said: “I am particularly proud of the inclusion of our newest award, ‘Best Dining Experience’, in our local Best Bar None Awards. The category aims to laud venues in our area who promote alcohol awareness and healthier eating and the response has been phenomenal. But what we have really been seeing as part of the addition of this award, is how many restaurants in Barnsley are working hard to be as green and environmentally friendly as they can.”

Barnsley saw a 77 percent increase in venue participation last year and is aiming to have 70 per cent of all town centre venues accredited by the end of 2020.

The scheme has also partnered with other local initiatives over the last year, that also aim to ensure the town stays a safe and vibrant place to go including the Night Life Marshalls, Street Pastors and Ask for Angela, where customers can subtly alert trained staff if they are feeling threatened by someone.

Lord Philip Smith, chairman of Best Bar None, said: “It is particularly encouraging to see Barnsley, the winner of the ‘Best New Scheme’ last year included in the shortlists for ‘Best Innovative Scheme’ this year. It just goes to show that new schemes are popping up successfully all the time, developing relationships with local authorities.”