Investing for the future!
The Big Lemon is owned and operated by members of the community. We do not borrow from banks – all our funding is from community investment and from our business activities.
We started our first bus service in 2007, the first bus service in the UK to run on 100% recycled waste cooking oil. The hallmarks of the service were environmental sustainability, good value for money and a commitment to friendly, personal service. A short video giving a snapshot of our approach is available here.
The Big Lemon runs seven local bus services, coach hire, a festival coach service and a program of Sunday walks. In 2012 we were awarded a four year contract to run a local service on behalf of Brighton & Hove City Council, the 52 bus from Woodingdean to Ovingdean, Brighton Marina, County Hospital and the city centre, and we also run services on behalf of GBMet Brighton & Hove
Alongside our work in Brighton & Hove we also work with communities in other areas, sharing our experience of sustainable transport to help others run similar community-based bus services. 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.
What do our customers say?
“The staff are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Always friendly and smiling… you really feel they care 🙂 Love them.” – Regina, Passenger
“We have not managed to find another company that is as responsibly and passionately organised as The Big Lemon – we sincerely hope that their model and ethos of working can set an example to other companies inside and outside of the transport industry.”– Lee, Festival organisor
“The customer service is fantastic. The drivers are all friendly; there is always a “Good Morning”, “Good Afternoon” when getting on the bus and a cheery “Goodbye” at the end of the journey.”– Sue, Passenger
- “Best Sustainability Initiative” at the Brighton & Hove Public Service Awards 2010
- “Best Social Enterprise” at the EU’s Ethiconomy Awards 2011
- “Best in Responsible Transport” Virgin Holidays Responsible Travel Awards 2012
- “Social Enterprise of the Year” Sussex Business Awards 2013
Current Investment Opportunities
The Big Lemon is currently fundraising to replace its fleet of buses with a fleet of electric buses. We are offering 2 year fixed rate bonds at 6% per annum; please see Our Plans for 2016 for more information.