Thirteen licensed premises across the Scottish Borders have received accreditation through the Best Bar None awards scheme.
Gold winners in 2015 were The Queens Head Hotel and The Waggon Inn, Kelso, Innerleithen’s Union Club and Eyemouth’s Oblo.
Meanwhile The Horse & Hound, Bonchester Bridge; The Fisherman’s Arms, Birgham; The Liddesdale Hotel, Newcastleton; The White Swan, Kelso; Hunter’s Hall, in Galashiels; Rutherfords Micro Pub, Kelso; The Allanton Inn, Allanton and The Black Bull Hotel, Duns were all awarded silver.
These premises join an elite group of around 400 that are accredited to the scheme in Scotland, supported by a wide range of partners including the Scottish Government, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland.
The premises demonstrated to an independent assessor that they met a number of criteria covering the five key elements of the Licensing Scotland Act 2005, including protecting public safet, preventing public nuisance and promoting public health.
An awards event will be held in March, where winners will be presented with their award plaques.
Councillor Donald Moffat, SBC’s Executive Member for Community Safety, said: “I am delighted more licensed premises that ever before have been successful in the Best Bar None awards.
“The 2016 scheme will launch in the spring and I would encourage all local licensed premises to take part.”
PC Nick Walker from the Scottish Borders Safer Communities Team, and local Best Bar None lead, added: “This has been a fantastic year for Best Bar None in the Scottish Borders, with a wide range of premises from right across the area taking part, and they should be congratulated for all their hard work.
“Best Bar None is a great opportunity for premises and partner agencies in the Scottish Borders to work together in order to maintain safe and welcoming licensed venues. The process is very straightforward and Police Scotland and Council licensing staff are available to assist at all stages.”