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2nd October 2013

Support from Secretary of State for Save The Red Lion Campaign – will silence continue from Punch Taverns?

Save The Red Lion Campaign wants to buy the Red Lion pub in Sidbury, East Devon for the community from its owner £2.3bn debt laden Punch Taverns. The Campaign has persuaded East Devon District Council to list the Red Lion as an Asset of Community Value. As a result no one else can buy the pub between now and 10 March 2014.

The Red Lion has been up for sale since April. No one has made an offer to buy the pub.  Except that is the Campaign. It has told Punch Taverns estate agent, Jones Lang laSalle (Exeter) that it would like to purchase the pub.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles, has joined in the support for Save The Red Lion Campaign’s determination to retain the Red Lion as a pub for the community.

Eric Pickles, last week wrote to local MP & Campaign Patron the Rt Hon Hugo Swire saying – “I commend the efforts that you and your constituents are making to keep the Red Lion pub open for the community. My Department is keen to support communities who want to save their local pubs”.

The Campaign is looking for similar approach by Punch Taverns, the owner of the Red Lion, in not only word, but in deed. To try to move discussions forward with Punch Taverns the Campaign has today written directly to its Chief Operating Officer Neil Griffiths urging him to facilitate meaningful discussions about the possibility of the Campaign successfully purchasing the pub.

Campaign Chair Fred Burnett said “We are grateful to the Secretary of State for his support and encouragement which builds upon that which we are receiving from local MP

the Rt Hon Hugo Swire and a number of East Devon District Council & Devon County Council Councillors.

We now wait to see if we will receive a positive response from Punch Tavern’s Chief Operating Officer Neil Griffiths, after all Punch Taverns told the local press in May in response to the creation of the Campaign that it “may explore other options around the future of our less sustainable sites or where they might better fulfil their potential for the local community under different ownership”. Let’s see if Punch Taverns will be as good as their word”.


 The Campaign wrote to Neil Griffiths at




Message for editors –


  • The Pub In The Village – Save The Red Lion Campaign Group was formally launched 19 May 2013 – report of Campaign launch available on the Campaign blog site



  • The Pub In The Village Twitter has over 240 followers


  • The Pub In The Village blog site has had  over 5000 hits



For further details contact:

John Loudoun

Secretary, Save The Red Lion Campaign

Tel: 07703194136