Safety Thirst returns to the City

Licensed venues in the Square Mile are being invited to apply for accreditation for the City of London Corporation’s Safety Thirst scheme, which encourages good practice and enhances the safety of the venues’ customers.

This year’s scheme has been expanded to include criteria on counter-terrorism, drink spiking, women’s safety and sexual harassment, and suicide prevention, all of which are a top priority for the UK’s night-time economy.

Invitations for accreditation will be sent to bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and events venues by mid-March and assessments carried out in April, May, and June.

On completion of a ‘commended’ or ‘highly commended’ assessment, the venues’ management teams will be invited to attend an awards ceremony at The Mansion House in July, where they are presented with a certificate to display at their venue. The certificate is valid for one calendar year, with businesses encouraged to re-apply for accreditation every year.

Accredited venues are eligible for a 30% discount from the City’s late-night levy applicable to all venues with permission to sell alcohol between the hours of midnight and 6am on any day of the week.

Launched in 2006 and run in partnership with the City Corporation, City of London Police, and the London Fire Brigade, the Safety Thirst scheme was last run in 2019.

It was put on hold during 2020 and 2021 when the COVID pandemic forced hospitality venues to close and remained on hold during 2022 and 2023 to enable City businesses to recover from the devasting financial impacts of the pandemic.

Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Licensing Committee, James Tumbridge, said:

“My colleagues and I are looking forward to receiving a record number of applications for accreditation for this year’s scheme, which makes a welcome return to the City after a five-year absence caused by the pandemic and its aftermath.

“Not only does Safety Thirst underline the importance that the City Corporation puts on safety in the night-time economy for customers and staff, it is an opportunity for licensed venues to get much-deserved credit for their hard work in helping reduce crime, anti-social behaviour, and excessive noise levels.”

Alcohol licensing, entertainment, and the night-time economy are flourishing in the City and its hospitality sector is a vital part of the Square Mile’s soft power. Over 140 pubs, café’s, bars, and restaurants offer al fresco seating, boosting the area’s vibrancy with outdoor seating.

The City of London Corporation has been working to encourage more footfall into the City through its Destination City programme, which aims to make the Square Mile a world-leading leisure destination for UK and global visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.