THE owner of the Red Lion at Baydon has warned she will block a community bid to buy the business – because the proposed offer is not high enough.
Julie Wyatt dropped the bombshell in an open letter to the Save the Baydon Lion campaign group.
The group’s business plan states: “A total capital budget of £300,000 is required to cover the purchase of the pub, which will enable the purchase of stock and remedial repairs as identified from community feedback.”
The group says the figure is based on a valuation from an independent chartered surveyor and from reviews of similar sales in the industry and surrounding area.
But in her letter, published on the village website, Miss Wyatt states: “As the current owner of the Red Lion, I feel it necessary to advise those who have an interest in the future of the Red Lion pub that the purchase price stated in the business plan of the Save Baydon Lion campaign has not been discussed with me and is not in any sense agreed.
“I have not, nor will I, agree to sell the Red Lion for the sum stated.
“I have had expressions of interest and requests for information from a number of parties regarding the building and land that comprise the Red Lion.”
She adds: “The Save the Lion campaign only has until the October 7, 2017, after which date if an acceptable offer has not been received from the Save the Baydon Lion campaign, I will actively pursue discussions with other interested parties.
“If the Save the Baydon Lion is to succeed, and I do wish it well, then it is important that those supporting the campaign know that the value stated in the business plan is not going to be accepted.”
The pub is listed on Rightbiz.co.uk for £385,000.
When approached by the Newbury Weekly News, Miss Wyatt declined to say whether the expressions of interest received were from pub traders or developers.
Villagers formed the Save Baydon Lion team to raise funds to purchase the pub as a community project following an appeal by Miss Wyatt at January’s parish council meeting for a community purchase fund to be organised.
The business had been marketed unsuccessfully for some time and Miss Wyatt said she was keen to sell up.
The pub was registered as an asset of community value in March, which provides a six-month grace period to allow the community to raise funds for purchase.
In April 2017 the company which runs the pub Red Lion (Baydon) Ltd was filed for compulsory striking from the Companies House register.
This status was then changed to a voluntary striking from the register.
The company dissolved in July 2017 and Miss Wyatt is currently running the pub as a sole trader.