As you will be aware Sidbury Community Enterprises recently made an offer to purchase the Red Lion from its owner Punch Taverns. It was about three weeks ago that an offer was made and since then there have been several discussions with Punch Taverns’ representatives.
We have always said that we believed that the price that Punch Taverns was asking for the Red Lion was unrealistic. In order to understand what the more realistic and affordable value of the pub was we have taken advice from a valuer and a building surveyor. Additionally, we have worked out what the likely income and expenditure on a new Red Lion business would be, and we have determined what work needs to be undertaken, and the associated costs, to bring the pub up to a reasonable trading standard.
All of this work has been undertaken in order to allow Sidbury Community Enterprises to make a responsible and realistic offer for the Red Lion. We have now reached a position where we have made a full and final offer to Punch Taverns for the pub and this has now been rejected. We believe that just to increase the offer beyond what is affordable would be poor business sense.
As a result, at this point Sidbury Community Enterprises has not managed to reach agreement to purchase the Red Lion. We understand that Punch Taverns remains committed to selling the pub. Equally, should Punch Taverns, at some point, decide that our full and final offer is acceptable then we remain committed to trying to obtain the Red Lion as a community village pub.
Therefore, at this stage we will wait and see whether Punch Taverns reconsiders its position, as it would be a sad end to nine months effort to retain the pub on behalf of the community.