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Tuesday, September 02, 2014
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SIDMOUTH: Pub campaign open days ‘encouraging’
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Campaigners fighting to save the Red Lion pub in Sidbury say they have been “greatly encouraged” by the interest shown from residents, after two open days were held to drum up support. The Red Lion is listed as an asset of community value by East Devon District Council and local people have been given the first opportunity to take over the running of the pub. Around 150 people attended the open days, and many returned completed share offer application forms and presented cheques. And Fred Burnett, the Chairman of Sidbury Community Enterprises – the company set up to bid for the pub – said the feedback had been “incredibly positive”. He said: “We were greatly encouraged by the numbers of those who took the time to come and have a look at what Sidbury Community Enterprises is proposing to do to alter the Red Lion. “The feedback was incredibly positive and we have taken away a few comments from those who attended as we think they can enhance our proposals.” It was announced in March that current owners Punch Taverns had agreed to sell the Red Lion to Sidbury Community Enterprises for £190,000, and it could soon become the first community-run pub in East Devon. But the success of the bid will depend on whether enough members of the local community purchase shares in the company. Campaigners need to raise at least £200,000 within five weeks to move ahead with the purchase of the pub, refurbish the building and cover start-up costs. Mr Burnett added: “I was surprised that some people came along with their cheque books and completed share offer application forms. “One person even took away six forms to share out among a group that they belong to.” Prospective investors in the purchase of the Red Lion have until May 23rd to buy shares.
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