In 2006 a group of people got together in a pub in Brighton to discuss public transport and decided to set up a Community Interest Company to provide affordable and environmentally-sustainable bus services in the local area. Soon afterwards The Big Lemon was born, and we now operate six local bus services in the Brighton area and a wide variety of coach services both locally and nationally.
Our core values are community, sustainability and innovation, and our mission is to enable everyone to get around their community in an affordable, enjoyable and environmentally-sustainable way.
Originally running all the buses on recycled waste cooking oil from local restaurants, The Big Lemon launched the UK’s first solar-powered electric bus in 2017 and we are now converting our entire bus fleet to electric. Electricity to power the buses is provided by solar panels on the roof of the bus depot.
We believe all bus services should be like this and are very keen to work with people in other communities who feel the same. Please consider joining our community to help us bring good quality, zero-emissions community bus services to yours:
We have published a guide called Community-Led Transport Initiatives which we offer free of charge to anyone interested in setting up their own initiative, and we also offer training and mentoring support.
The Big Lemon has never borrowed money from a bank, venture capitalist or hedge fund – all our funding has been through sales income and investments made by the local community. We pay good rates of return on investments, and would much rather see local people benefit from those investments rather than big corporate banks.
This year we have already raised over half a million pounds in investment for new electric vehicles, leaving us with about £50k more to raise in order to create the UK’s first fully electric bus network.
All investments are covered by our Solar Bus Bond Agreements:
If you’d like to invest in our Solar Bus Bonds please complete the fields below:
Upon receipt of your application we will send you a Bond Agreement to sign and an invoice for the funds with details of how to transfer the funds.
Upon receipt of your funds we will issue a bond certificate within 14 days. Your certificate will be dated the date of receipt of your funds and your investment will be returned to you at the end of the term. Interest will be paid annually, with the final payment on maturation
We reserve the right to refuse investments and we do not need to give a reason. The Big Lemon does not give financial advice and you are advised to seek independent financial advice on your investments.
This community bond issue falls outside the scope of regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The Big Lemon CIC is Registered in England & Wales, Number 06045786
Registered Office: Protran House, Boundary Road, Brighton BN2 5TJ
Telephone: 01273 681681
The Big Lemon has won a number of awards for our work:
Dandelion Award for Sustainable Business 2009
Best Sustainability Initiative, Brighton & Hove Public Service Awards 2010
Best Social Enterprise, EU Ethiconomy Awards 2011
Best in Responsible Transport, Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2012
Bronze Award, Most Sustainable Small Business, International Green Awards 2012
Silver Award, Responsible Business Standard 2013
Social Enterprise of the Year, Sussex Business Awards 2013
Green Business Award, Brighton & Hove Independent Business Awards 2016
Innovation Award, Brighton & Hove Independent Business Awards 2016
Green Business Award, Johnston Press South Business Awards 2016
Best Place to Work, Brighton & Hove Business Awards 2016
Green Business Award, Brighton & Hove Business Awards 2016
Business of the Year, Brighton & Hove Business Awards 2016
Winner, Transport Category, P.E.A. Awards 2016
UK Environmental Social Enterprise of the Year 2016
Most Sustainable Business, Sussex Business Awards 2017
The Big Lemon is an Equal Opportunities and a Brighton & Hove Living Wage Employer. Click here to see our Equal Opportunities Policy