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SIDMOUTH: Residents respond to pub campaign appeal

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

Villagers attend an open day to find out more about plans for Sidbury’s Red Lion community pub scheme

Villagers attend an open day to find out more about plans for Sidbury’s Red Lion community pub scheme

Campaigners fighting to buy the Red Lion pub in Sidbury have said they are “delighted” by the response of local residents who showed their support at two share offer open days recently. Around 70 people attended the first open day at Sidbury Village Hall, where they were able to discuss plans with representatives from Sidbury Community Enterprises, the company looking to purchase the pub. Architects’ plans, computer-generated drawings and artist’s impressions of the proposed alterations were also on show at the open days. A bid has already been accepted by current owners Punch Taverns, but the company must raise at least £200,00 in order to complete the deal. And now a share offer appeal has been launched to encourage residents to buy a stake in the business. Company Chairman Fred Burnett said the response of residents had been “positive”. He said: “It was wonderful to see so many people at our first open day. It was pleasing that in addition to many residents from the village, there were also residents from Sidford and Sidmouth who took the opportunity to come along to see what alterations we are proposing to make to the Red Lion. “This shows that the purchase of the Red Lion has appeal both within the village and the wider Sid Valley.” Sidbury residents started the campaign last year after the pub was put on the market. Due to its status as an asset of community value, the local community was given the first opportunity to make a bid. If the company can find the funds, the Red Lion would become the first community-owned pub in East Devon. Mr Burnett added: “The great thing about this first open day was how positive and complimentary people were about our vision for upgrading and altering the pub, and particularly in our intent to make it a community hub within the village. “Everyone also supported our intent to retain the Red Lion as a real village pub. “I would remind everyone not to leave it until the last minute to send in their completed share application forms and underline that the share offer is open to anyone who supports our vision for a refurbished community orientated Red Lion.” The share offer closes on May 23rd.

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