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

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Communities Investing In Their Pubs

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser has recently reported on two pubs which are being bought for their local communities and which are having great success in raising funds to buy them. Both pubs are issuing shares of between £100 & £200 and £20,000 in an attempt to raise the money.
Campaigners in Yorkshire are looking to raise £130,000 to save the Fox & Goose pub. So far almost 200 people have bought shares in the pub and this has so far raised £100,000. The article reporting this encouraging story is at -

Meanwhile campaigners seeking to save the anglers Rest pub in Derbyshire have also raised over £100,000 of their ambitious target of £320,000. Like those fighting to save the Fox & Goose the money is being raised by issuing community shares in the pub. The article for this story is at -

These two stories show that local communities do have an appetite to buy community shares in their pub if there is the right business plan in place. This is something that Save the Red Lion Campaign will need to carefully consider as a funding option.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Public Respond Positively To Pubs

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser has reported upon the recent survey that pub campaign group It’s Better Down The Pub has undertaken to test how the public respond to pubs.

In the survey over half of respondents (52%) said that they believed pubs had a positive impact upon community life. Respondents to the survey also overwhelmingly (89%) said that they felt that pubs offered a safe environment within which to socialise.

All in all, the article reports that pubs were seen in a very positive light by those who responded to the survey. Hopefully, the public will get behind their local pubs and support them as they seek to stay in business.

You can read more on this story at –

Saturday, 17 August 2013

On Our Holidays!

For the next 3 weeks there will be very little posted on this blog as we will be sunning ourselves by a Greek beach!
Please don’t take the fact that there will be little or no postings during this period as an indication that the Campaign is doing nothing as work will continue locally.
Hopefully upon our return from holiday we will be able to report positive news about Save The Red Lion’s Campaign to get East Devon District Council to list the Red Lion as an “Asset of Community Value”.

Campaign's First Public Meeting

Save The Red Lion Campaign will be holding its first public meeting since it was formed almost three months ago. The meeting, which is open to all, will be held on TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER, in the Sidbury Village Hall, starting at 7.30pm.

The Campaign hopes to be able to make some important announcements at the meeting, as well updating people on all of its activities over the past three months, and explaining the key activities that it will be undertaking in the forthcoming months.

All are welcome to attend. More detail will follow in future postings on this blog.

Put the date in your diary NOW!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Latest Sidmouth Herald Campaign Report

On page 7 of today’s edition of the Sidmouth Herald is a report on the support that Save The Red Lion Campaign is now receiving from the Plunkett Foundation in preparing itself to start work on a future business plan for the Red Lion.
The article can be found at –
It’s great to get the continuing support and reporting of the Campaign from our local paper. Thanks, Sidmouth Herald!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Plunkett Foundation's Latest Newsletter

For those who are new to knowing about the Plunkett Foundation which is giving Save The Red Lion Campaign support, advice & guidance as it  starts the detailed process that could lead to the purchase of the Red Lion pub for the community, reproduced below are a couple of extracts from the Foundation’s latest newsletter.

Update from Plunkett's Chief Executive, Peter Couchman

An outbreak of Sanity
Speaking in 1899, Horace Plunkett said "I know no better way of estimating the economic sanity of any community than by observing the state of its public opinion upon the relative efficacy of State-Aid and Self-Help, and the extent to which the latter is relied upon."

Based on this litmus test, 2013 is demonstrating an outbreak of sanity in our rural communities. The Plunkett Foundation is seeing a significant rise in the number of communities seeking help to explore self-help solutions. Demand for our services is outstripping all our estimates as more people realise that the only way to protect or create vital services is doing it themselves. What we are also seeing is a far broader range of options being explored than just the village shop.

The range was out well when Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking in his role as President of the G8, spoke of his desire to see social investment unlocking community action. "This isn’t some pipe dream. Already there are 311 community-owned shops, 18 community-owned pubs, as well as community owned bookshops, cafes, swimming pools, bakers, farmers markets, even community owned broadband networks." 

None of this means that communities think that Governments should be let off the hook. They want to access advice that doesn't cost them, they want a variety of funding forms including grants available to them and they want their role as a community-owned enterprise to be a benefit not a barrier when they engage with the planning system. So welcome to all those communities who've taken the first steps toward self-help and thank you for raising the level of economic sanity in our world.

Community enterprise openings!

There are now 314 community shops and 20 co-operative pubs open and trading across the UK. ‘The Rose and Crown’, Slaley, was taken over by local community group Slaley Community Assets Ltd on Saturday 3 August.

Community Pubs Minister To Announce Milestone In Assets Of Community Value

The Publican’s Morning Advertiser carried an article yesterday in which it was reported that the Community Pubs Minister Brandon Lewis will today announce that 100 pubs in England have now been listed as “Assets of Community Value” by their local authorities. The article can be found at -
CAMRA is campaigning to get 300 pubs listed as “Assets of Community Value”. Save The Red Lion Campaign is only trying to get one listed, the Red Lion! However, good luck goes out to all those campaigning around the country, as we are, to retain their local pubs.
Perhaps we should run a sweepstake inviting punters to guess what number the Red Lion will be on this successful list!
A decision from East Devon District Council to the Campaign’s request to have the Red Lion listed as an “Asset of Community Value” is due in early September.
Finally, a big thanks to Mr Black who keeps us posted about articles in the Publican’s Morning advertiser that he thinks will be of interest to the Campaign.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Campaign Secures Support of Professional Advisers

Save The Red Lion Campaign is in the process of trying to retain the Red Lion pub, in Sidbury village, East Devon, for the community after its owner Punch Taverns put it up for sale.

Save The Red Lion Campaign is the first community campaign group to submit a request to East Devon District Council to list a pub as an “Asset of Community Value”. If the Campaign group is successful in getting this historic village pub listed as an “Asset of Community Value” under the 2012 Localism Act, it will bring about a moratorium on the potential sale of the Red Lion to allow the Campaign to undertake a feasibility project to determine whether it wants to purchase it.

The Campaign has applied to for a grant, that is made available from the government’s Department for Communities and Local Government, to prepare a viable business plan for the pub, and to determine what it believes the pub’s market value is.

The Campaign will also be applying for a capital grant from the Department of Communities and Local Government which would part fund the purchase of the Red Lion.

To support the Campaign through these processes it is pleased to announce that it has now secured the support of the Plunkett Foundation which works with community groups to save their pubs and to help to develop their business plans.

Save The Red Lion Campaign Chair Fred Burnett in hearing that the Plunkett Foundation had agreed to provide support to the Campaign said “Now having the support and advice from professional advisers at the Plunkett Foundation is really
excellent news. This will allow the Campaign to start the hard work of drawing up a business plan to allow us to create a viable future business in the Red Lion and to start the process of preparing to bid to buy the pub for the community.”

The Campaign expects to know whether East Devon District Council have listed the Red Lion as an “Asset of Community Value” by early September.

The Plunkett Foundation helps rural communities through community-ownership to take control of the issues affecting them. 
The Plunkett Foundation helps communities to save their pub as a co-operative venture and provides support from the initial stages of a pub being under threat to providing ongoing support to established pubs.

Through specialist support programmes, regional community advisers, mentors and experts, as well as online, telephone and email support, we are able to help communities to set up co-operative pubs and help existing ones to thrive.

Co-operative ownership is becoming an increasingly recognised solution to local pub closures across the UK. A co-operative pub is where a significant part of a community comes together to form a co-operative to try and save and run their local.

The focus of the Plunkett Foundation’s work is:
o   Helping rural communities to set up and run community-owned shops with a range of partner organisations.
o   Supporting rural communities to establish a wide range of other community-owned rural services.
o   Promoting and supporting the development of community food and farming enterprises across England through leading the Making Local Food Work programme and other community food and farming enterprises.
o   Advocating and raising awareness amongst policy makers, support organisations and rural communities themselves of the ability of rural communities to take control through community-ownership of the issues affecting them.

Founded in 1919, the Plunkett Foundation is a national organisation based in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.  The Plunkett Foundation finds the most effective ways for each generation to put into practice the values created by its founder, Sir Horace Plunkett. 

These values are:
  • Seeking economic solutions to create social change.
  • Seeking solutions that enrich rural community life.
  • Seeking self-help as the most effective way to tackle rural needs. 
Once East Devon District Council lists the Red Lion as an “Asset of Community Value”, then with the support of the Plunkett Foundation it will be much further forward in seeking to secure the pub for the community.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Pubs Diversify To Remain Viable

As part of its series on village pubs the Western Morning News on 18 July published an article under the heading "Pub's new ventures" in which it reports about the way in which a couple of west country pubs had diversified in order to continue as viable businesses.

One of the pubs, the Badger Inn, diversified by in part becoming the village shop after its village post office closed. Whilst the other pub, the Royal Standard, made use of its garden by installing a community adventure playground for the local children.

Whilst both pubs have been inventive in looking at how to attract and retain local interest and custom, it is unlikely that either additions to the pubs' range of services they offer to their communities will be able to be utilised at the Red Lion. However, as this article, and a previous one reported in an earlier posting demonstrate, a village pub often has to diversify to remain viable.

Diversification will need to be a consideration for the future Red Lion.

The Western Morning News article can be found at -

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Further Campaign Reporting In Publican's Morning Advertiser

Yesterday's (5 August)  Publican's Morning Advertiser carried the story of Save The Red Lion Campaign seeking listing for the Red Lion by East Devon District Council as an "Asset of Community Value".

Find the article at -

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Latest Western Morning News Campaign Coverage

Friday's (2 August) edition of the Western Morning News carried the story of the Reverend Susie Williams becoming a patron of Save The Red Campaign under the headline "Cleric addds her support to save village's pub".

The story can be found at -

Thanks to the Western Morning News for its continuing support for the Campaign.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Campaign Is Today's Top Sidmouth Herald On-Line Story

Oooh! On the Sidmouth Herald's on-line news site today the story "Sidbury Pub Campaign Backed By Vicar" is the most read story! That must be Save The Red Lion Campaign receiving the agreement from local vicar, the Reverend Susie Williams, to become a Campaign Patron. Unless there is another pub in Sidbury that is facing an uncertain future?!

This story, peviously posted, can be found at -

Red Lion Sought As Number 68

The Publican's Morning Advertiser has reported that so far 67 pubs nationally have been successfuly listed by local authorities as "Assets of Community Value" at the request of local community campaign group. Having had their pubs listed this has given the groups six months breathing space in which they can seek to put together the required funding to purchase it.

This is exactly what Save The Red Lion Campaign is doing in an attempt to retain the Red Lion. The Campaign awaits the response from East Devon District Council to its request to list the pub.

The Publican's Morning Advertiser article can be found at - status-given-to-67-pubs

Sidmouth Herald welcomes Campaign Patron Rev Susie Williams

On page 13 of this week's Sidmouth Herald newspaper it carries an article in which it reports on the Reverend Susie Williams' decision to become a Save The Red Lion Campaign Patron. As regular readers of this blog will know the Reverend Susie's agreement to become a Campaign Patron comes a few weeks after local MP, the RT Hon Hugo Swire, also agreed to become a Patron.

The Sidmouth Herald article in the 2 August edition of the newspaper can be found at -