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Better Business for All

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Better Business for All: Simplifying the regulation process to help businesses grow.

Better Business for All (BBfA) is a local voluntary partnership between businesses and regulatory services to promote growth.

It has been set up to improve understanding of administration and compliance to ensure businesses meet the required regulatory standards.

BBfA is here to work with your business to help you save time and money, improve competitiveness and grow.

We do this by:

  • Providing access to regulatory help that is tailored to your business needs, making it easier to ‘get it right first time’

  • Creating an environment where businesses feel confident to ask advice from regulators without fear of attracting enforcement activity

  • Providing solution-focused advice and removing regulatory barriers

The BBfA role

BBfA is designed to help you understand and untangle any regulation concerns you may have. Our aim is to remove the fear of regulation, helping you achieve compliance and get on with the task of growing your business.

BBfA brings together businesses and the regulatory services in your area (including Environmental Health, Licensing, Trading Standards and the Fire Service) as well as the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the Federation of Small Businesses, (FSB).

Businesses tell us about their experience of working with BBfA.


Blink Cosmetic Solutions

Environmental Health Officers in Durham gave Sandra Stephenson from Blink Cosmetic Solutions, initial set-up advice for her first premises in February 2014. Since opening, Sandra has since outgrown her premises and has registered two further premises, one in Chester-le-Street and one in Ferryhill.

Sandra said, “The advice that Environmental Health officers have given me over the years has been invaluable, especially when I first started the business. It’s helped me to grow my company safely.”

Hear more about what Sandra had to say about her BBfA experience in the video above.




News and updates from BBfA North East


It's National Licensing Week.

Positive Partnership


The world of regulation has changed significantly in recent years, a clear acknowledgement that the best results are achieved when regulators and businesses work together because ultimately both parties aim for the same outcome - safe and well managed premises, places and environments.


Positive partnership has become the cornerstone of licensing regulation and engagement - it cuts across almost every aspect of licensing and has transformed the relationship between licensing regulators and businesses generally.


It is now common practice for national statutory guidance to focus on the message of positive partnership in regulation.  This is no more so than in the Licensing Act s.182 guidance to local authorities where numerous references to "working in partnership".  The essence of this is captured in the following paragraph:


"All parties are expected to work together in partnership to ensure that the licensing objectives are promoted collectively.[1]"


The Licensing Act is not alone in this, the Gambling Act's statutory guidance also "seeks to reinforce the importance of partnership working between licensing authorities (LAs) and local businesses to mitigate risks to the licensing objectives.[2]"

Examples of positive partnership in licensing regulation are numerous but below are a few examples:

  • National Pub watch groups where local businesses, council officers and police officers come together to promote a safer drinking environment in licensed premises throughout the UK.
  • Best Bar None, supported by the Home Office, local councils and the drinks industry these schemes are aimed primarily at promoting responsible management and operation of alcohol licensed premises.
  • Purple Flag which is the accreditation process for town & city centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy (ENTE).
  • National roll out of safeguarding training for licensed taxi and private hire drivers often in partnership with local councils and police forces
  • The BRDO's primary authority partnerships that offers businesses the opportunity to form a legally recognised partnership with a local authority, which then provides robust and reliable advice for other councils to take into account when carrying out inspections or dealing with non-compliance.

National licensing week (#NLW2017) is another a great example of positive partnership.  National licensing week partners represents all the sectors in the industry, ranging from trade bodies, independent traders, local authorities to the highest level of national Government - all working to achieve the same aim.

 The North East Better Business for all Partnership commits to:

  • Encouraging local economic growth by helping businesses to comply with their legal requirements and best practice in the most cost effective way
  • Making it easy for businesses to get the right advice so they can plan with confidence
  • Explaining the reason for each visit to businesses
  • Carrying out regulatory activity in a fair, helpful transparent, proportionate and consistent way 
  • Co-ordinating services, as much as possible, to minimise unnecessary overlaps and duplication
  • Consulting with businesses and local business groups, when developing policies, plans and service standards
  • Promoting Better Business for All with businesses, consumers and regulators

Local businesses can become involved by:

  • Accessing and using our services
  • Encouraging other businesses to contact and seek advice from the North East BBfA partners
  • Helping us to promote the partnership and sharing when they feel an improvement has been made to their business by engaging with the North East BBfA partnership
  • Providing feedback and opinions on how we can support and encourage improvements to their regulatory systems.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service is committed to promoting the fire safety message to the business community and public of Tyne and Wear with a vision of 'Creating the Safest Community'.


It is our policy to effectively manage fire safety through our Risk Based Inspection and engagement program; seeking  to reduce the number of fires, fire-related deaths and injuries, through the effective enforcement of Fire Safety legislation and by engaging with business owners and management.


Advice on fire safety, without prejudice to Building Regulations and your Fire Risk Assessment, can assist you in making your premises safe from fire for the protection of people and your business. Please use NEGH/TWFRS when making contact with us.

Get in touch

Your local regulators are well placed to give advice and guidance. So, if you have any questions relating to regulation in your local authority area or would like to find out more about how we can help, please contact the following people:

Debbie Butters

Strategy, Policy and Partnerships Manager

Durham County Council

[email protected]

03000 269127

Peter Wright

Environmental Health, Trading Standards and Community Safety Manager

Gateshead Council

[email protected]

0191 4333910

Andrew Stephenson

Senior Trading Standards Officer

Sunderland City Council

[email protected]

Stuart Wright

Regulatory Services Manager

South Tyneside Council

[email protected]

0191 4247869

Frances McClen

Environmental Health Group Leader

North Tyneside Council

[email protected]

0191 6436640

Ed Foster

Service Manager

Newcastle City Council

[email protected]

0191 2116132

David Sayer

Northumberland County Council

[email protected]


Ian Bell

Group Manager, Fire Safety Newcastle and North Tyneside

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service

[email protected]

0191 444 1664