Save The Red Lion Campaign Patrons

  • Sidbury Community Enterprises' community share offer launched to buy the Red Lion
  • Save The Red Lion Campaign Patrons - Rt Hon Hugo Swire MP & The Reverend Susie Williams
  • Campaign's company - Sidbury Community Enterprises - has made an offer to buy the Red Lion
  • East Devon District Council has listed the Red Lion pub as an Asset of Community Value - a significant Campaign milestone

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Pub Campaigner In New Year Honours

Many congratulations to John Longden who is the Chief Executive of pub campaigning organisation The Pub is The Hub who has been awarded an MBE in today’s New Year Honours List.
The Pub Is The Hub encourages good licensees, communities, pub owners, breweries, local authorities and the private sector to work together to match community priority needs with additional services which can be provided by the local pub. You can see more about The Pub is The Hub at
Great to see pub campaigners getting official recognition for their important community related work.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Campaign In Sidmouth Herald's Review Of 2013

The Sidmouth Herald has included the Campaign in its review of 2013. In identifying key events in the year under May the newspaper highlights “Regulars at Sidbury’s Red Lion pub launched a campaign to save their local after it was put up for sale.”
Many thanks to the Sidmouth Herald for its great reporting and support during the year.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Still Beavering Away

In case you are wondering why there has been no news posted here over the past couple of weeks, it’s because we are busy trying to pull together information that will support a Business Plan for a successful new Red Lion business.
Please bear with us as we beaver away behind the scenes! Oh, and we might take a break over the Xmas and New Year festive time!
Keep in touch with this blog as information on the Campaign’s next activities will hit these screens soon rather than later.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Campaign Company Formation Remains Sidmouth Herald Most Read Article

The most read article on the Sidmouth Herald website a week on from it reporting remains the story of the formation of the Campaign’s company Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited. It has been the most read article all week!

The Sidmouth Herald reports the story under the heading “Share offer plan to buy the Red Lion”.  The link to the article is -

Friday, 22 November 2013

Today's Sidmouth Herald Report On Campaign Latest

Today’s Sidmouth Herald newspaper on page 6 under an article headed “Share offer plan to buy the Red Lion” reports on Save The Red Lion Campaign forming a limited company to purchase the Red Lion.
The report quotes Campaign Chair & local MP and Campaign Patron Hugo Swire following the creation of Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Exeter & East Devon CAMRA Magazine Report

Exeter & East Devon CAMRA’s magazine, Exe Ale, carries a report about the creation of Save The Red Lion Campaign in its latest edition – issue 63, Autumn 2013 - EditionCAMRAExeAleMagazine.pdf
CAMRA is extremely good at promoting good beer & seeking it out. This local CAMRA group’s activities can be found at Go and have a look at what they are up to around the region.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Pulman's View Reports Creation Of Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited

Today’s edition of Pulman’s View from Sidmouth newspaper carries a sizeable report on page 4 of Save The Red Lion Campaign’s successful registration of  an Independent Provident Society limited company through which it will seek to purchase the Red Lion on behalf of the community.
The company is Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited. It’s name has been chosen as it reflects the Campaign’s key aim of retaining the Red Lion as a community asset.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited Wants To Make The Red Lion Roar!

Save The Red Lion Campaign is serious about seeking to purchase the Red Lion in Sidbury, East Devon on behalf of the community and has commenced a dialogue with its current owner the pub company Punch Taverns.
In order to purchase and to own the Red Lion the Campaign has had to create a limited company through which to trade. Save The Red Lion Campaign is pleased to announce that it has now received formal registration from the Financial Conduct Authority of its company – Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited. It is this company that the Campaign hopes will become the new owner of the Red Lion.
Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited, whilst being a limited company, is also an Industrial Provident Society. The company has been both named and created so that it will trade for the benefit of its members and its community. This ethos will set it apart from most existing local pub owners, or potential pub owners, whose main aim will be to maximise the profits for them or their remote shareholders.
Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited will be owned by its members, who will be those who invest in its business. A central element in how the company will fund the purchase and the upgrading and refurbishment of the Red Lion will be by publicly issuing shares which will start at what is hoped will be an attractive and affordable price of £50 each.
Each shareholder will in turn become a member who owns the company. This way all shareholders, who Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited hope will mainly come from the Sid Valley, will be able to directly benefit from a profitable Red Lion enterprise.
Sidbury Community Enterprises Ltd has a vision that it is developing as part of its business plan, of making the Red Lion a community hub. This would mean that as well as being a village pub which undertakes the traditional business activities such as serving drinks, selling meals and catering for bed & breakfast customers, it will also seek to serve and support its local community.
Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited sees the future Red Lion business as providing community related services, offering opportunities for the wider community to make maximum use of its facilities and playing a key role in local community life. The company will want the Red Lion to be seen and used as the Asset of Community Value that East Devon District Council has listed it as.
To assist in shaping the community related aspect of its business the company’s campaigning arm, Save The Red Lion Campaign has issued a questionnaire across the whole of Sidbury inviting residents to say how they would want to be able to use the pub in future. The feedback from the questionnaire will help to shape Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited’s business plan for a future successful Red Lion business.
In announcing the creation of Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited Fred Burnett Chair of Save The Red Lion Campaign said “By creating Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited we are making it clear that we are determined to purchase the Red Lion as we think that it can be made a successful community based pub. We want the pub to not only be a successful local business, but also to be owned by and to support the local community. We think that the name says it all. We are determined to get the Red Lion for the community”.
Local MP and Save The Red Lion Campaign Patron the Rt Hon Hugo Swire said “The fact that Sidbury Community Enterprises Ltd has now been formed shows the determination that local campaigners have to buy the Red Lion for the local community. A community owned pub in Sidbury would be excellent news for all those in the area. I wish them good luck in their continuing endeavours to buy the Red Lion.”
This marks a significant stage as what started out as a campaign group is now developing into a potential community based owner of a future Red Lion business.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Help To Shape A Future Red Lion

As members of Save The Red Lion Campaign’s Steering Group beaver away over their abacus trying to make sense of the reams of figures that they are pouring over, under the guise of a draft business plan, there is still time to help to influence what sort of pub you would like to see a future Red Lion business to be.
It is important that the future business that the Campaign tries to create for the Red Lion reflects feedback that we receive from the local community. To help gain this feedback we have issued a questionnaire which has been distributed at Sidbury Fair Day, at our public meeting & more recently across Sidbury door to door.
In the questionnaire we have asked what sort of pub you would like to be created and in particular we have asked when you think you would want to drink in it, when you would want to eat in it, what sort of food you would like to be served and what other services/facilities you would like the pub to offer.
The questionnaire not only is designed to understand what sort of pub you want but also how you think the pub can support & serve the local community. This latter part of the questionnaire is every bit as important as the parts that try to help to shape the business.
We have had a large number of people responding to the questionnaire which shows that there is interest in trying to influence the future Red Lion. There is still a little bit longer to get your form in if you haven’t already done so.
Completed forms should be returned to any of the addresses at the bottom of the questionnaire or returned to the Campaign email –

Monday, 11 November 2013

Sorry Tale Of The Alma Pub

Another tale of problems facing landlords of successful pubs.
The Guardian reports on the eviction of the landlady of the Alma pub in north London which had been hailed as CAMRA north London’s cider pub of the year.
The question is what constitutes a “failing” pub? For many pubcos it’s those that don’t bring in as much profit as they would like regardless of them being at the heart of a local community. This is where more & more local people are turning to getting them registered as an Asset Of Community Value in an attempt to retain them

Friday, 8 November 2013

Bowd Inn Closes

Today’s Sidmouth Herald reports the shocking and sad news that the Bowd Inn has closed. The pub is reported to have closed its doors on Tuesday following the bankruptcy of one of the leaseholders.
Not only does this deprive the area of another pub but it also means that 13 staff are now left without a job.
We were last in the Bowd Inn last Saturday and had a pleasant lunch, although it wasn’t that busy.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Another Devon Village Creates Campaign To Keep Their Pub

The Western Morning News reports on another local pub campaign that has been created to retain their local pub. This time the campaign is in Chulmleigh, north Devon.

Local residents have come together to create a campaign to keep the Globe Inn in Chulmleigh open after its owner has earmarked it for closure.

You can read about this campaign’s fight in the Western Morning News at -

Friday, 1 November 2013

Today's Sidmouth Herald Campaign Article

Today’s Sidmouth Herald reports the latest from Save The Red Lion Campaign on page 22 in an article headed “Save the pub bid wins grant aid”.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Another Successful Pub Campaign

As Save The Red Lion Campaign continues to develop its business plan for a future Red Lion business and works out how much funding it will need to raise, we keep an eye on what other pub campaign groups are up to, and often take heart from their endeavours.
Our trusty Publican’s Morning Advertiser has just carried a story “Northampton residents raise £100,000 to save local pub”. The Charwelton Community Pub and Shop Co-operative is looking to raise £147,000 and within three weeks had managed to raise the substantial sum of £100,000. That’s no mean effort!
This story is yet another example of how a local community has come together to raise money to save their pub. Save The Red Lion Campaign expects to be treading a similar path, probably early next year.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Campaign Newsletter Delivery Across Sidbury

Over the weekend members of Save The Red Lion Campaign started the task of delivering a newsletter to properties across Sidbury. The newsletter updates residents on the progress of the Campaign & its next important steps.
The newsletter also invites residents to complete & return a questionnaire which seeks their views about what sort of uses the Red Lion could be put to as a community pub. Residents are also invited to register their interest in potentially becoming shareholders in a future Red Lion business.
Deliveries of the newsletter will continue during the week.
Copies of the newsletter, along with the future pub questionnaire & the share interst form can all be downloaded at –

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Campaign Success Hits The Front Page!

Save The Red Lion Campaign hits the front page! Today’s edition of Pulman’s View from Sidmouth has, as its lead story on its front page, a report of the Campaign receiving its significant grant funding.
Under the heading “Pub campaign moves up a gear thanks to 10k government grant” it reports on the campaign’s latest success.
The story can be accessed at –

Monday, 28 October 2013

Campaign Blog Reaches 6,000 Hits!

Thank you to everyone who has visited this site since we set it up earlier this year.
As the blog reached the point where we had received 6,000 hits today this is a snapshot of the data behind that number -
Pageviews today

Pageviews yesterday

Pageviews last month

Pageviews all time history

Pageviews by Browsers
Internet Explorer
80 (41%)
41 (21%)
38 (19%)
19 (9%)
6 (3%)
Mobile Safari
6 (3%)
3 (1%)
1 (<1%)
1 (<1

Pageviews by Operating Systems
129 (66%)
20 (10%)
13 (6%)
12 (6%)
11 (5%)
10 (5%)

Pageviews by Countries
United Kingdom
United States

Campaign Passes Second Significant Milestone - Receives Funding Grant

Save The Red Lion Campaign has now past its second significant milestone! It has now been awarded a £10,000 grant from a government body which it will use to undertake the next set of important work that it needs to do in order to move towards making an offer for the Red Lion and completing its business plan for a future Red Lion business.

In preparation for making an offer to buy the Red Lion the Campaign has been working on developing a viable business plan. Until now the Campaign has been restricted in what progress it can make in detailing its business plan as it has yet to find out how much it believes the pub is actually worth, and how much it would cost to repair and upgrade the building. These are key pieces of financial information that the Campaign now requires.

The Campaign is pleased to announce that it can now progress to having the pub professionally surveyed and valued. It can now undertake this important set of activities as it has successfully applied for, and had approved, a pre-feasibility grant of £10,000 from the government funded Social Investment Board.

The approval of this grant is a significant second milestone for the Campaign, following on from it having successfully persuaded East Devon District Council to list the Red Lion as an Asset of Community Value.

The grant, will allow the Campaign to undertake pre-feasibility work in order to engage professional advisers to, amongst other things –
Ø  have the pub valued.
Ø  obtain a full building condition survey, including undertaking technical due diligence.
Ø  cost the work required to repair and upgrade the pub.
Ø  register an Industrial & Provident Society limited company to purchase and own the pub.

The Campaign is anticipating that within the next fortnight it will obtain registration from the Financial Conduct Authority of its Industrial & Provident Society limited company.

Fred Burnett, Chair of Save The Red Lion Campaign, said “Receiving this significant grant from the government’s Social Investment Board comes just at the right time for the Campaign. We have recently opened up a dialogue with the pub’s owner, Punch Taverns, and work is progressing well on developing a business plan for a future Red Lion business. However, to complete this, the Campaign needs to know what the pub is realistically worth, as opposed to what the owner wants for it, as well as how much money would need to be spent on repairing and upgrading the building.

The Campaign has received the maximum pre-feasibility grant that the Social Investment Board can award which I believe demonstrates the strength of the case that the Campaign made for this sizeable financial support. We can now move our work up a gear or two”.

The next couple of months will see the Campaign fully understanding what the financial outlook for a future Red Lion business will look like.

Sidmouth Herald's Latest Campaign Article

Last Friday’s Sidmouth Herald’s latest reporting of the Campaign (page 10) in its 25 October edition can be accessed at –

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Celebrating A CAMRA Campaign Success

Thanks to the CAMRA website for this story that has an impact on all pubs -
CAMRA officially launched new celebration material at a popular parliamentary pub event last week that thanked MPs and Ministers who made a difference by the scrapping of the beer duty escalator. 
The celebration, which took place in the Red Lion pub, attracted over 40 people including Ministers Sajid Javid, Brandon Lewis, Eric Pickles, and CAMRA directors who fought against what MP Andrew Griffiths claims was “the hated beer duty escalator”.
The beer tax campaign headed by CAMRA aimed to abolish the beer duty escalator which would push tax up by 2 percent.
At this year’s budget, the Chancellor axed the plans and announced a 1p cut in beer duty, the first time beer duty has been cut since 1959.
Jackie Parker, a CAMRA Director, described the campaign as “a fight to save our great British pint”.
Campaigning included gaining 109,100 signatures to reach the necessary figure for a Parliamentary debate, and volunteers who joined at CAMRA’s first mass lobby condemning the beer duty escalator.
Jackie took the opportunity to thank the MPs “for the very positive way in which they engaged with and supported the campaign.
“We should all be very proud of our collective achievement”, she added. The efforts of those involved were also echoed by Chief Executive Mike Benner and MP Andrew Griffiths who stated that: “We should not underestimate what we achieved in scrapping that beer duty escalator. We should pay thanks to organisations such as SIBA and the British Beer and Pub Association that worked so hard in delivering this.
"We should thank all Members of Parliament across all sides of the house who worked together unified because they recognised the damage the beer duty escalator was having on pubs and brewers in their constituencies." 
Mike concluded that: “This is a win-win situation for everyone.
"We did it and we made a difference". 
The celebratory event which allowed MPs, Ministers, and members of CAMRA to enjoy their efforts to scrap the beer duty escalator also kick-started further plans ahead of next year’s budget to ensure the government continue to support local pubs through freezing beer duty.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Today's Sidmouth Herald Campaign Report

Today’s Sidmouth Herald carries the latest on the Campaign on page 10 under the heading “Save The Red Lion campaign gathers pace”.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

An Asset Of Community Value To Be Compulsory Purchased?

A battle is going on in the London Borough of Hackney over the Chesham Arms pub. Having won a victory to get the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value (ACV) the Save the Chesham campaign group recently had to put their case to a local tribunal when the owner of the pub appealed the local council’s decision to award it the ACV listing.
The campaigners won the appeal and so the pub remains ACV listed. But that’s not where this story ends. The campaigners are worried that the pub owner will not sell the pub, which is already closed, but will just hang on to it. After all he wants to turn the property into flats.
The campaigners are now lobbying the council to try to get it to compulsory purchase the pub. Now that would be interesting! Good luck to the Save the Chesham campaign.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Today's Pulman's View Campaign Report

Tuesday’s edition of Pulman’s View from Sidmouth carries a report on the meeting that Save The Red Lion Campaign representatives held last Thursday with Representatives from Punch Taverns & its estate agent Jones Lang laSalle.

The report is on page 4 of Pulman’s View under the heading “Campaigners meet with pub owners”. The article can be read at –

Thanks to Pulman’s View for their continuing interest in our story.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Express & Echo Report Advance Notice!

We understand that this week’s edition of the Express & Echo will be reporting on the last week’s meeting between Save The Red Lion Campaign representatives & Punch Taverns.
Look out for it on Thursday morning!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Food For Thought From Sunday Times

Yesterday’s Sunday Times Magazine carried an informative & interesting article about the current trend within the pub trade to for pubs to upgrade to being gastropubs. Experience shows that there are, as in all things in life, good & less good gastropubs. Gastropubs have their place & you have to be very careful where that is.
We were particularly struck by the reference in the article to the cost difference for purchasing, as an illustrative example, a barrel of Heineken export (if that’s your tipple) for a tied pub as opposed to a free house. The example given explained that a tied pub probably would have to pay around £450 for a barrel, whereas a free house could buy the same barrel for around £200.
That means to make the same margin on a pint the tied pub has to charge an extra £0.87 a pint! Put the other way a free house could charge the same price per pint to their customer & make just under a pound more profit per pint!
The article also highlighted the potential margins that there were on food, nibbles, soft drinks, spirits, coffee & cocktails.
All food for thought, even if you aren’t looking to create a gastropub!

Friday, 18 October 2013

We Are All Around The World!

Odd! But a compelling part of running a blog is tracking where people who follow you are doing it from. In the past week the countries, outside of the UK, where visitors to this blog have viewed us from are -
United States

Wherever visitors to this blog are from – welcome, keep supporting our Campaign!