Punch agrees to sell Red Lion in Sidbury to community

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red lion, Stock market, Punch taverns, Share

Individuals will be able to buy shares at £50 each, up to a value of £20,000
Individuals will be able to buy shares at £50 each, up to a value of £20,000
Campaigners hoping to save a Devonshire village pub have been handed a lifeline after Punch Taverns agreed to sell the property to a community enterprise group.

The Red Lion, in Sidbury, will be run as a co-operative should Sidbury Community Enterprises (SCE) raise enough money to buy the pub through a share offer.

SCE company secretary John Loudoun said that the pub would support local projects and organisations, and provide non-core community services.

He explained that the group wanted villagers to “see the Red Lion as a social space that they can all share”.

Punch put the pub up for sale last April, and SCE successfully campaigned to have it listed as an Asset of Community Value in August. The Red Lion is the only pub in a village of 800 people.

Loudoun said the money would have to be raised in the next two months for the group to buy the pub. Under the share offer, individuals will be able to buy shares at £50 each, up to a value of £20,000.

Plea

He explained: “We really need everyone to buy as many shares as they can in the new Red Lion business, because if we cannot raise all the money needed in the next couple of months then we will not be able to purchase the pub.

“In those circumstances, this community-focused venture will not happen. So we need local people to help us give the Red Lion back its roar.”

SCE also plans to raise money for refurbishment works required to bring the pub up to acceptable trading standards, and for start-up costs.

SCE chairman Fred Burnett said: “We have had a solid business plan, and this has allowed us to determine what we think the Red Lion is worth and what we can afford to pay for it.”

He added: “We are very pleased to have agreed a purchase price that is below what the owner has been asking. We need the community in Sidbury, and the wider Sid Valley, to now open their wallets and purses, and raise the funds we need to establish a new Red Lion business.”

Related topics: Property law, Punch Pubs & Co

Related news

Show more