A Wetherspoons pub in the heart of Durham has been named as the city’s safest bar.
The Bishop’s Mill, at the Walkergate development, won both the “best pub” and the “best overall” categories in the annual Best Bar None awards,.
And on Wednesday night managers from the pub, which is run under the Lloyds No 1 brand, collected their accolades from Councillor John Robinson, the chairman of Durham County Council, at a ceremony in the Ramside Hall Hotel.
“Since Best Bar None began in 2007 we have seen violent assaults fall by more than 20% in Durham city centre, an achievement which is absolutely magnificent and a real testament to all those involved,” said Durham Police’s chief constable Mike Barton.
“The introduction of extra points for attending Pubwatch meetings gave added weight to the outcome of this year’s awards and the judging was the closest it’s ever been.
“Deliberations went into the early hours but for the first time ever the outcome across all categories was unanimous.”
Durham’s ‘Best Bar None’ scheme, which is now in its seventh year, is run as part of the Durham City Nightsafe Initiative, which brings together a number of agencies including both Durham County Council and Durham Police.
Other premises to be recognised for their high standards were Pizza Express in Saddler Street, which won the best restaurant category, Loveshack, on Walkergate, which bagged the top nightclub prize and the John Duck on Claypath, which was voted the best pub.
“The judging panel made their decisions based on how well each premises had met requirements for customer safety under the terms of the Licensing Act,” said Carol Feenan, the council’s Durham city centre manager.
“The Best Bar None national award scheme, supported by the Home Office aims to promote responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises. It has been adopted by over 100 towns and cities across the UK and is now being taken up internationally.”