Campaigners in Ickleton are trying to raise £450,000 to save the village's last remaining pub from closure.

The Ickleton Lion has been a public house in the village since 1728, but closed its doors in July last year and has been put up for sale by owners Greene King.

A group of villagers calling themselves 'Ickleton Lionhearted' have created a Community Benefit Society - Ickleton Community Pub Ltd - which launches its share offer on Wednesday, July 10.

They have until September 24 this year to raise the funds needed to buy the Lion and open it as a community-owned pub, protecting it from potential redevelopment and saving it for future generations.

As the pub has been registered as an Asset of Community Value, Greene King are prevented from exchanging contracts to sell the pub to anyone other than a community interest group before the September date.

Thanks to donations from residents, the group has already raised £136,000 - more than a quarter of the target - in share pledges over the past three weeks.

To secure the remaining funds before the deadline, the group is keen to hear from any individuals or businesses in the region who are willing to buy shares in the Lion.

Success would see the Lion follow in the footsteps of other community-owned pubs such as The Green Man in Thriplow, The Three Tuns in Guilden Morden and The Railway Arms in Saffron Walden.

Rachel Radford, chair of Ickleton Lionhearted, said: "The Lion has been serving the local communities of Ickleton, Hinxton, Duxford, Great Chesterford and beyond for three centuries.

"In World War II it was a popular haunt for US airmen, and in recent years an intellectual retreat for scientists at the nearby Wellcome Genome Campus and thirst quencher for cyclists along Route 11. We want a thriving pub at the heart of our village again.

"Sadly the election has suspended some community grants that we hoped to benefit from so we are even more dependent on the generosity of the local people.

"We’d love to hear from anyone interested in supporting us and being part of the future of the Lion."

The community share offer will run until August 31. Shares will cost £1 with a minimum investment of £200 and a maximum of £100,000.

Every member - irrespective of their shareholding - will have an equal say in the running of the pub.

The share offer is being launched at an information evening on July 10 starting at 7pm in Ickleton Village Hall. 

After brief talks, the England football match will be shown in the hall at 8pm (just as would have happened in the Lion) while a Q&A session about the share offer will be held in the adjacent meeting room.

For further information – and to pledge your support – visit, email or call 07752162002.


Simon Cheney, vice chair of the group and owner of the central Cambridge eatery Bread & Meat, said: "Our vision is to create a welcoming meeting place, serving affordable drinks and good quality, home-cooked, simple food.

"The Ickleton Lion won’t just be a place to eat and drink, but a community hub allowing people to connect with one other and access essential services and support groups.

"Our village used to have six pubs with another just outside and we hope to keep the Lion as part of our cultural heritage."