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, 25 February 2014

Information Update

A number of questions have been posed following the recent distribution of the Sidbury Community Enterprises’ vision for a future Red Lion business and we thought that it would be helpful to address them. We are pleased that by circulating this vision we have generated some local discussion.
Purchasing the Red Lion – Sidbury Community Enterprises has opened negotiations with Punch Taverns with the intention of purchasing the Red Lion. As anyone who has tried to purchase a property will know this process can potentially be lengthy and until this process reaches a final conclusion, one way or another, we are not going to play out the negotiations in public, and so please bear with us until we reach an outcome. Therefore, just because we are saying nothing publicly about the progress of negotiations, do not make any assumptions one way or another.
What is Sidbury Community Enterprises? – it is an Industrial Provident Society. It is described as a social enterprise. It is not a registered charity. In other words it has been established in order to establish a business, the Red Lion, which aims to be a successful commercial enterprise with an ethos to support the local community. That is why the vision for a future Red Lion business highlights the relationship between the pub and the local community, community organisations and community events.
Sidbury Community Enterprises is also a limited company and will operate, and be governed, by the same company and financial regulations that govern any limited company.
Funding the purchase of the Red Lion – if an agreement can been reached with Punch Taverns to purchase the Red Lion, Sidbury Community Enterprises will need to raise money to fund the purchase of the pub, the work to refurbish the pub and the new business’s set up costs. The money will come from two sources – obtaining a mortgage and a community share offer. Work is in hand to be able to obtain a mortgage.
Purchasing shares in Sidbury Community Enterprises – no shares have yet gone on offer and will not do so until we reach a point whereby an agreed purchase can been reached with Punch Taverns, who own the Red Lion.  At that point a share prospectus will be issued. The prospectus will include –
v  an explanation about what the funds raised will be spent on
v  broad information on what the Sidbury Community Enterprises’ Rules are which apply to the share ownership
v  information about how to apply to buy shares
v  contact details to allow prospective shareholders to obtain additional information
v  some frequently asked questions and their answers
At that point Sidbury Community Enterprises are also planning to hold an “open day” to allow anyone interested in the future Red Lion business to come along to find out what the plans are for the pub, how the pub will be managed, how the company will be managed and any aspect of the share offer.
Currently however, all that is being asked of potential investors is that you register your interest in buying shares. We are doing this so that once the prospectus is produced we can send a copy directly to those who have registered. It also gives us an understanding of how much we are likely to be able to raise through selling the shares.
We still would encourage anyone who thinks that they might be willing to invest between £50 and £20,000 to register their interest. Registering your interest in purchasing shares does not commit you to anything. A registration form that can be completed and returned either by email or to one of the addresses on the form can be downloaded at –
Liabilities of shareholders – Sidbury Community Enterprises is not intending to create a future Red Lion business with the intention of failing, and much detailed work has gone into producing a Business Plan that demonstrates that a successful and profitable business can be run at the Red Lion. However, we must also consider what might happen in a worst case scenario.
If Sidbury Community Enterprises failed, and it needed to pay creditors, then in the most extreme of circumstances the company would, as with any limited company in the same situation, need to sell its assets to raise the money to pay the creditors. This would lead to the winding up of the company.  In this situation its assets would be the pub.
If more money was raised from selling its assets than was required to pay its creditors, then the balance would be shared out amongst shareholders, as determined by either the company’s Management Committee or the insolvency administrator. Potentially, investors might not receive the full value of their investment.
If insufficient funds were raised by the sale of the company’s assets to pay its creditors then the shareholders could only be liable to lose part or all of their investment but no more.  These circumstances, as mentioned previously, would be no different to those that would apply if you invested in a high profile large limited company which faced the same difficulties.
Will I get a return on my investment? – investment in Sidbury Community Enterprises is an investment in a community project rather than a more mainstream company. The company’s Rules place a cap on the maximum level of return (a dividend to shareholders) that can be paid out each year of 2% above the prevailing Bank of England base rate. Our Business Plan does not anticipate paying a dividend to shareholders before Year 3 of trading. Our priority has to be, particularly in the short term, reinvesting in, and developing the business. This in turn secures shareholders’ investments.
Sidbury Community Enterprises’ financial plans – the company has created a Business Plan that sets out all aspects of owning and running the Red Lion. Included within the Business Plan are detailed financial assumptions and projections for the first three years of the company’s ownership of the pub. In other words, this fully explains what money we think we can get as income from the Red Lion, what the outgoings will be and what profit it will make.
As a commercial document it is at present confidential. However, once a purchase of the pub is agreed and a share offer issued then key aspects of this can be provided to potential shareholders who will want to understand how profitable the business that they are considering investing in will be.
Refurbishment of the Red Lion – Sidbury Community Enterprises has employed the services of an architect to help us to not only create a set of drawings from which we can accurately further develop our proposals, and associated costs, to refurbish the Red Lion. This will also allow us to show how we envisage the pub looking once the work has been completed. We are trying to get all of this created to allow them to be shown at a future “open day” as referred to above.
If you are uncertain of any aspect of Sidbury Community Enterprises’ proposals for a future Red Lion business you can contact us at

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Cycle & Walking Pathways Proposals Linking Sidbury to Sidford & Sidmouth Revealed

Proposals for a new long awaited walking and cycling route between Sidbury and Sidford went on show to the public at a two-day exhibition staged by Devon County Council in Sidbury Village hall this week.
The scheme will not only provide a more direct and convenient route for pedestrians and cyclists between the two communities, but it will also enhance safety and improve access for people with disabilities. It will also provide a link from Sidbury directly to Sidmouth and beyond for those who prefer to cycle or walk.
The proposed schemes include some new off-road shared use footways and cycle ways as well as improvements for pedestrians and cyclists at existing on-road sections. These are designed to further improve safety and reduce potential vehicle conflicts with vulnerable users in the villages.
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council (DCC) Cabinet Member for Highway Management and local DCC member for Sidmouth and Sidford, said: “This excellent scheme has been a long-held ambition for the County Council and will greatly improve safety for anyone walking or cycling between Sidford and Sidbury. Providing this route would provide a realistic alternative to the car for anyone making the journey between the two communities and hopefully it would encourage more people to do so. I would encourage people to take the opportunity to attend the exhibition to see these proposals and provide us with their comments. Feedback is essential from these exhibitions, to enable our staff to gain an understanding of local need in order to fine tune the scheme.”
Councillor Claire Wright, local DCC Councillor for Ottery St Mary Rural and a great supporter of both the trail and Save The Red Lion Campaign, said: “It's wonderful to be involved in the creation of a brand new walking and cycle path, which will take people through beautiful countryside that they don't have access to at the moment. Importantly, it will be safe route to school, once finished. I look forward to meeting lots of residents at the exhibition.”
The exhibitions gave members of the public an opportunity to view and comment on the proposals.
Save The Red Lion Campaign welcomes the fact that this proposed cycle and pedestrian path is now moving towards a reality. It will be great for bring more people into the village and it will be even more important that there are refreshments easily accessible to them once they arrive. This is one reason why Sidbury Community Enterprises is proposing that a future Red Lion business introduces a cafe facility.
The story has recently been covered in the Express and Echo newspaper and the article can be read at -

Councillor Claire Wright’s blog, which has promoted this path way is at -

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Still Time To Register Interest In Buying Shares in Sidbury Community Enterprises

A reminder that the future vision for the Red Lion, produced by Sidbury Community Enterprises, and which has been circulated across Sidbury can be accessed at –
Included in the Vision Statement is a form which you can use to register an interest in purchasing shares in the future Red Lion business.
Completing the registration form will only take a minute to do. If you are interested in reading this blog you must be interested in being part of the future of the Red Lion. Go on, complete that form!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Pulmans View Latest Campaign Report

Following on from last week’s coverage in the Sidmouth Herald today’s Pulman’s View from Sidmouth also has an article reporting on the latest Campaign activities.
The article “Formal offer made to save village pub” reports on the offer made by Sidbury Community Enterprises to buy the Red Lion and the publication of its future vision for the pub. The article can be read at
Thanks to Pulman’s View for their continuing support and reporting of the Campaign.
Copies of Sidbury Community Enterprises vision for a future Red Lion business are starting to be delivered across the village. The Vision statement can be accessed at

Monday, 10 February 2014

Sidmouth Herald Report On Vision Statement Launch

Thanks to the Sidmouth Herald for once again covering the developments in our story. In this week’s Sidmouth Herald it carries the report of the launch of Sidbury Community Enterprises’ Vision Statement which sets out its intentions for a future Red Lion business.
This article is on page 3 and entitled “Community revamp plan for Red Lion pub” and is at

Friday, 7 February 2014

Sidbury Community Enterprises Makes Offer To Buy Red Lion & Launches Vision Statement

Over the past few months members of the Campaign Steering Group have been busy preparing a Business Plan for a future Red Lion business. As part of this process we have been working through and revising our business and financial assumptions, as well as our financial projections for a future business.

As a result of all of this work we are confident that a successful and profitable business can be created at the Red Lion. Within our assumptions and projections we have determined what we think the Red Lion is worth today as a property bearing in mind that its owner, Punch Taverns, is not selling it as a trading business but solely as a property, although the pub remains open.

We have employed a property valuer, property surveyor and a building quantity surveyor who have given us their professional opinions of the property’s current value, the work that would be required to upgrade the property to a reasonable standard to allow it to trade effectively, and to provide us with costings to undertake the improvements that we believe are necessary to significantly improve the business.

We are therefore now in a position to start the process of trying to purchase the Red Lion. We have today made an offer for the pub. If the Red Lion is retained it will be the first community owned pub in East Devon.

We have determined what we believe the pub is really worth, rather than what the owner has said it wants for the property, and we have costed the funds that we require to upgrade and improve the property, as well as the costs of starting up a new Red Lion business. All of this has been brought together in our Business Plan which we intend to publish once we have successfully secured the pub.

Underlying our Business Plan is our Vision Statement that sets out how we envisage the pub to be under the ownership of Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited, which as you will be aware, is an Industrial Provident Society limited company that we have established and which would own the pub. The company will be a cooperative that will be in turn be owned by its members; those who purchase shares in it. Greater detail of this aspect of our business will also be published once we have secured the purchase of the pub.

However, we are pleased to be able to now publish Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited’s Vision Statement for a future Red Lion business. This Vision Statement is now being distributed to residents across Sidbury. The Vision Statement can be accessed at

In promoting the Vision Statement, Chair of both Save The Red Lion Campaign and Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited, Fred Burnett said “We want the Red Lion to be far more than just the pub in the village. Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited will create it as a key social hub for the local community, at the heart of the village. The Red Lion will be owned by many local people who will have invested in it as a business. It has been listed by
East Devon District Council as an Asset of Community Value. We intend to make it live up to that listing by inviting our community to use the Red Lion as a base for many community activities.”

Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited hopes that having read and been enthused by the Vision Statement, even more residents will register their interest in purchasing shares in this new venture. When the shares are sold they will be in £50 denominations, up to a total individual share ownership of £20,000.

The Statement is intended to explain what we would like to do with the pub and to give you an understanding of the ethos and expectations that we have for a future Red Lion business. We confidently believe that we can create a Red Lion that a diverse range of customers, both from Sidbury, and the wider Sid Valley, will want to regularly support.

You will also see from this Vision Statement that we have expressed our commitment to creating strong links with our community. From the outset of the creation of our Campaign we have clearly said that retaining the Red Lion is not just about keeping an establishment that customers can go to have a drink and a meal at, but that it is equally important to ensure that the Red Lion is used as an asset of the community in its most widest sense. That includes the Red Lion business supporting local community events and organisations, as well as finding ways that the Red Lion can provide new services to the community in Sidbury.

In just over 8 months the Campaign to retain the Red Lion has gone from being a reactive campaigning group to proactively being able to offer to buy the Red Lion as the first community owned pub in East Devon!

Secretary of Save The Red Lion Campaign and Company Secretary of Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited, John Loudoun said “The offer that we have made to buy the Red Lion from Punch Taverns is a credible and realistic one. We have spent three months or more obtaining professional advice as to what the property is really worth, how much work is needed to upgrade it, how much that work will cost and whether we can create a viable business on that basis. Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited has a clear vision for a successful Red Lion business that will support and encourage community activities and organisations. We urge Punch Taverns to accept our offer and allow the Red Lion to get its roar back. Sidbury’s community needs to secure the future of the Red Lion. Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited is determined to do that”.

As we now try our hardest to persuade the owner to sell the Red Lion to Sidbury Community Enterprises Limited at a price that is commercially responsible and which will support our Business Plan, we trust that now you have been able to read our Vision Statement you will remain committed to purchasing shares in this exciting new venture once we are in a position to promote them.

So, please bear with us as we go through the important stage of trying to negotiate a successful purchase of the Red Lion. Once we have successfully completed that stage then we will be able to explain how you will be able to purchase the shares.

If you want any further information do not hesitate to contact us via our email address and please share this Vision Statement with friends and relatives who you think might be interested in what we are in the process of creating. We are happy to post a copy to anyone if we are provided with their name and address.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Watch This Space - 8.00am Friday 7 February 2014

After a few weeks of posting very little about how the Campaign has been progressing, we will be making a couple of important announcements on Friday (7 February) morning. To get the information first hand, watch out for the posting on this blog at about 8.00am on Friday.

The Campaign has not given up, far from it. However, we have been incredibly busy over the past couple of months, as you will find out!