Villagers rally to rescue award-winning pub as community asset

A campaign has been launched to save a 300-year-old village pub and transform it into a community-owned asset.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 1:29 pm
The Red Lion Inn at Stathern PHOTO: Supplied EMN-211115-131037001

The award-winning Red Lion at Stathern closed four years ago and locals successfully opposed plans to convert it into a house and build seven terraced properties on its car park and garden.

Now the Red Lion Community Group has announced a drive to raise the funds to buy the pub with a public meeting to be held on Tuesday November 23, at 7.30pm, at the War Memorial Institute, for all who want to help and those interested in buying shares.

The organisation aims to raise between £350,000 and £600,000 to buy and refurbish the Red Lion, which held a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand for many years and was ‘dining pub of the year’ for Leicestershire and Rutland in the Good Pub Guide the year it closed.

Bridget Green, chair of the Red Lion Community Group, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the community to save a treasured asset.”

The group was formed after the pub was offered for sale and they subsequently pursued a Community Right to Bid.

Members have been working over the past few months and are hoping next week’s meeting will garner further support.

The Red Lion Inn has been around since the 17th century and local folklore suggests that the execution warrant for Charles I was signed in the pub by Colonel Francis Hacker, of Stathern Hall), although this has never been proved.

Aside from a clutch of awards, the pub is well known from featuring on the The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain TV show in 2009, when chef Sean Hope won a contest to produce the best local dish.

Go online at www.savetheredlionstathern.com or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/redlioncommunitygroup/ for more details on the campaign.