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

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.