City’s Pubwatch scheme relaunched

Relaunch of new city centre Pubwatch scheme. Inset co-ordinator Elizabeth Murphy

4/11/21: Story and photograph courtesy of Telegraph and Argus

A SCHEME to provide a safe, secure and responsible social-drinking environment in Bradford city centre pubs while boosting evening economy is being revived and relaunched.

It brings together hotels, leisure and entertainment providers to help broaden its reach as the city centre works towards a brighter and more varied offer. It aims to help direct a greater focus on the visitor experience and a more rounded appeal for those who live, work and spend their leisure time here.

More than 30 people attended the first formal meeting including representatives of more than 20 venues.

It was chaired by Elizabeth Murphy, the Evening and Night Time Economy co-ordinator (ENTE) who has been newly appointed by the scheme’s sponsor, Bradford BID.

She said: “We had a great turnout for the first formal meeting and it was a really positive event,” she said.

“We want the new scheme to create a solid foundation for a strong, respectful and honest voice for the evening and night time economy sector.

“Pubs and bars have had a really tough time during the pandemic and the necessary restrictions and lockdowns have hit them hard. They are working really hard to get back to where they were and I think there is a real feeling that, working together, we can make an important difference to the later hours economy in the city.”

A Pubwatch scheme is a voluntary group of licensees and other partners who work together to address local concerns about crime and safety issues in their pubs and bars and to find solutions to address any problems.

Bradford City Centre Pubwatch is a member of the National Pubwatch scheme, which is there to support and help achieve a safe, secure, and responsibly-led social drinking environment in all licensed premises throughout the UK and thereby reduce alcohol-related crime.

Ms Murphy said: “Our Pubwatch, which will meet monthly, is open to all venues within the city centre. We will take collective action to ban troublemakers, while promoting effective working relations between licensees, the police and local authorities.

“We will be engaging and working with partners and fellow sector members to discuss ideas and promotions whilst also looking at concerns such as lighting and perceptions of the city centre.

“The new committee is made up from independent bars, nationally-known brands and food-led venues, so it’s a really diverse team to showcase the real diversity Bradford has to offer after dark.”

Bradford BID chair Ian Ward said: “Bradford’s ENTE economy is vital to the future success of the city centre.

“We need the hospitality sector to grow and thrive and now is the time to help develop and support our night-time offer to ensure there are excellent operational procedures and partnership working in place.

“We want to create an ambitious forward-looking and inspirational city at night with high-class entertainment, varied businesses and investment opportunities that will bring about regeneration and economic growth over the years to come.

“People need to have confidence that they can enjoy a good night out safely and responsibly.”