Outlook good for pub plan

The Red Lion in Bloxham. ENGNNL00120130409115123
The Red Lion in Bloxham. ENGNNL00120130409115123

A six-month effort by Bloxham residents to buy a disused pub to turn into a community social facility could be nearing a successful conclusion.

Leaders of the Red Lion Hub committee are holding a public meeting at 5.30pm on Sunday at Warriner School Hall to report on extensive negotiations with owners Fuller, Smith and Turner brewery.

A campaign to buy and convert the derelict pub, in the centre of the village, has enjoyed overwhelming support and the committee had received pledges of £400-£500,000 in total from eager fundraisers with which to bargain.

Committee member Brian Auld said: “We are still in negotiations with Fullers but I am certainly optimistic. We have done extraordinarily well in terms of pledges and we hope by Sunday’s meeting we will have a proposal to put to the shareholders.

“We have all got our fingers crossed and Fullers are aware of our meeting on Sunday so they are trying their best to put something to us. The support we have received has been brilliant.”

The committee might have earlier obtained a leasehold on the property but sought the freehold to protect a piece of village green which had historically been used by the community and was part of the pub garden alongside the stream.

“It would be very sad if the community hub doesn’t come about and was developed for housing,” Mr Auld said.

“The location is in such an obvious central part of the village; Bloxfest is focused on it as there are few open spaces in the centre of Bloxham.”