Barbican Pubwatch scheme launched

Publicans and club owners from Plymouth’s historic Barbican have joined forces to launch a new Pubwatch scheme to make the harbour a safer and more welcoming destination.


The manager of St Austell Brewery-owned pub The Ship on Quay Road, Jade Plum, instigated the new Barbican Pubwatch group forming and chaired the first meeting of the organisation, which aims to enhance the quayside and harbour areas by improving CCTV coverage, ensuring better communication between venues and the police, and working to reduce anti-social behaviour.


Barbican Pubwatch is being supported by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District (BID), Plymouth City Council and Devon & Cornwall Police.


Jade Plum, Chair of Barbican Pubwatch and manager of The Ship, said: “We’ve wanted to set up a new Pubwatch group for some time, and Barbican publicans are really getting behind the initiative now. It’s vital that traders take a responsible approach to working together to shape the environment and attract more visitors to the historic Barbican. We’re very pleased with the response so far.”


The business-driven scheme also hopes to ensure major events held in the Barbican and Sutton Harbour are better planned and held in the best location to benefit all traders.


The first meeting took place on Tuesday (March 18th) and was attended by managers from Barbican venues including the Blues Bar & Grill, the Crown & Anchor, Bacaro’s, Annabel’s Cabaret & Discotheque and The Vauxhall Quay, OMG nightclub, The Mayflower, The Ship, and The Gog & Magog, as well as security companies working in the Barbican, the Plymouth Waterfront Manager and representatives from the council’s licensing department, Devon Fire & Rescue and Devon & Cornwall Police.


Members agreed the main priority was to improve CCTV coverage for the Barbican, and also discussed installing new signs across Plymouth to better direct tourists to the harbour, as well as the possibility of display boards being sited locally to advertise upcoming events.


The new group debated how to manage Bank Holiday Sunday revelling on the quayside, and discussed licensing regulations and the impact of venues staging outdoor live music events. It was agreed there needs to be more frequent rubbish collections at weekends, particularly Bank Holiday weekends.


Sarah O’Leary, Plymouth Waterfront Partnership’s (PWP) Waterfront Manager, attended to pledge the support of the Waterfront BID, and suggested the Barbican Pubwatch group identify its five key priorities with a plan of action drawn up for the year ahead.


She said: “The Barbican needs a Pubwatch scheme and I’m very pleased to be working with publicans and supporting them to proactively shape their future trading.


“With PWP-funded family events coming up including May’s Pirates Weekend, June’s Barbican International Jazz & Blues Festival, September’s Plymouth Seafood Festival and November’s Thanksgiving celebrations all located in the Barbican, it’s essential the area has improved co-ordination and enhanced management to make it cleaner, safer and a more attractive environment for all.”


Plymouth City Council and Devon & Cornwall Police have worked with Barbican traders for several years and are keen to provide additional support to the group.


Cllr Brian Vincent, Cabinet member for the Environment at Plymouth City Council, said: “We are always happy to support licensees who wish to work together to help improve Plymouth’s leisure economy. The Barbican is a key visitor attraction for the city and we look forward to working with the trade.”


The new Barbican Pubwatch scheme follows Pubwatch groups set up for the city centre, North Hill and Union Street areas, and is part of a series of targeted improvements to Plymouth’s evening and night time economy planned for the forthcoming year.


The group will be supported through the National Pubwatch organisation, which works to promote safer drinking environments in all licensed premises.

Photograph and story courtesy of the Waterfront BID