WE (STILL) WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU...
We conducted a survey which was carried out between August and October 2021. The survey was returned by 225 households located in Stathern and surrounding areas. The results (so far) can be seen below.
The Red Lion is an Asset of Community Value and has been put up for sale by the current owner. As such, the community have the opportunity to put together a bid for the business. The link below will take you to our questionnaire. We want to continue to discover the support for The Red Lion as a community venture. As well as understanding local and regional needs, this helps us to access consultancy & funding. We continue to need your views on what might be provided and what would receive your support. It only takes a few minutes and every response is very valuable and very much appreciated.
A principal question in this survey was about the type of pub that the Red Lion should be. 59% of the respondents replied that it should be a gastropub or destination pub. Many people remember the excellent dining and ambiance that the Red Lion used to offer, and that it used to draw people from a very wide area. This is the type of pub that most respondents would like to recreate.
We are very conscious that we also have The Plough in the village and the reborn Red Lion is intended to sit alongside The Plough without detracting from its business, as it always used to do. The survey asked how important it was to have a second pub in the village on a scale of 1 – 5, with 5 being very important. 52% of respondents scored it as a 5 and 19% scored it as 4.
66% of respondents reckoned that they would use the Red Lion between once a week and once a month if it were to re-open. We also asked what people would particularly like to see at the Red Lion so that it differentiates itself from The Plough. The replies were many and various but the themes that came through consistently were:
Real ales and good wine
Welcoming and friendly ambience
We asked what would be the main reasons for using the Red Lion in the future. As the respondents could tick multiple boxes and add other reasons to visit, there was again a great variety of answers. The top three were:
The main concept to be taken from this is that The Plough is used for everyday, mainly ‘wet’ sales, however, people do not see it as a somewhere to celebrate with a special meal, nor do they see it necessarily as somewhere where they would take their family. As the village expands (a large development of another 74 houses is about to be built), then a family-friendly venue to eat out within walking distance will be increasingly in demand.
In asking what additional services the pub should offer, there were again many varied answers. We did suggest some too and the top three out of the suggested answers were:
There were some interesting answers in the ‘other’ section for this question in terms of community use and these are worth exploring at a later date when the Red Lion is up and running. These include:
Parcel drop-off point
Educational/skills drop-in sessions
Small theatre productions
Local supplier tastings
These are however, worth considering when planning the refurbishment of the Red Lion, so the space becomes as flexible as possible. The Red Lion will work in a spirit of co-operation with other facilities in the village, and it may be that some of these suggestions are better suited elsewhere (e.g. the War Memorial Institute, The Plough, the primary school or the church).
Food will be a very important part of the community offering and respondents would like quality food, beer and wine to be on offer throughout the week. The ambience and quality of the food and drink will be such that people will want to go there to celebrate special occasions.
The majority of those responding to the survey were adults in the 18 – 65 age bracket (157 households with a total of 314 adults). 68 households had older residents than this (total of 116 adults) and 58 households had children. This represents a good cross-section of the village community.
Out of the respondents, 143 were households within Stathern and the rest were mostly within 10 miles of the village. That 75 replies came from outside the village is testament to the fact that it is not only the residents of Stathern that wish the Red Lion to be restored. It was a much-loved pub over a very wide area. Whilst the Red Lion Community Group is under no illusion that it will not be the same pub again, as it was very much a reflection of previous owners, but the very high standard reached together with the many awards that the Red Lion won, has inspired the group that it is possible to create an outstanding pub in that location in the village that will draw many to it.
The final questions in the survey aimed at drawing in the community with regard to practical and financial help. This was divided into 3 stages.
Stage 1: Help with putting a bid together
Stage 2: Help with developing the Red Lion following a successful bid
Stage 3: Help with running the Red Lion once it is open again for business.
We had 103 offers of various sorts of help for Stage 1, mostly financial, some of a practical nature.
In terms of financial help for purchasing the Red Lion:
81 people were interested in buying shares
12 people would consider making a loan
26 people would consider making a donation
In terms of buying shares, loans and donations, we had bands of possible amounts. The total amount that we could potentially raise if all the offers came to fruition would be between £130,000 and £200,000.
In terms of Stage 3, actually running the Red Lion, we had 55 positive responses to this.
These results suggest that the wish to develop and give solid help to a community venture is very strong.