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.