Energy co-op offers free boilers to community buildings

Chris O'Connor, technical director at Biomass, installing a boiler described as 'game-changing heating technology'

A Bury energy co-op is offering free biomass boilers to social and community buildings, aiming to encourage more people to take up renewable heat technology. Biomass Energy Co-op has developed the scheme in partnership with Strand Energy, and it is designed to reduce the UK’s fossil fuel usage. The biomass boilers can use waste such as […]


New chief executive for New Zealand co-op apex body

New Zealand's co-ops bring in NZD$41bn a year. The World Cooperative Monitor 2015 puts the largest by turnover as being agricultural co-op Fonterra. [photo: Fonterra Cooperative Group]

New Zealand’s co-operative apex organisation has appointed a Craig Presland as its new chief executive, replacing Ian Macintosh, who has semi-retired. Cooperative Business New Zealand represents 50 co-ops across the country, from a variety of sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, insurance, financial services, utilities, pharmaceuticals, education, health and retail. With a combined turnover of NZD$41bn a […]


The importance of co-operative business education

Karen Miner at the Co-operative College's Co-operative Education Conference in Manchester, 21-21 April 2016

Opening the second day of the Co-operative Education Conference, Karen Miner, managing director of the Cooperative Management Education Program at St Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Canada, explored co-operative business education (CBE) – and why CBE uptake can sometimes be so low. The scope for co-operative learning within businesses is huge, said Ms Miner, and is […]


£9m boost for Bristol Energy Co-op

Solar panels being installed at Easton Community Centre, Bristol

A funding boost for Bristol Energy Co-op (BEC) has raised £9m of investment since November – making it the UK’s largest community energy company by capacity. The enterprise has signed agreements worth £4m with Bristol City Council, Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) and Triodos Bank, bringing the total raised to £9m. The investment will add 9.3MWp of community-owned solar generation […]


Co-op Group confirms sale of Somerfield Stores Ltd

The Co-op Group bought Somerfield in 2008 for £1.6bn

The Co-operative Group has agreed the sale of Somerfield Stores Limited (SSL) to The Food Retailer Group Limited, part of retail investor Hilco’s group. According to the Group, the sale of SSL, which comprises 36 trading and an additional non-core property portfolio, will strengthen its focus on convenience food retailing and support its wider food strategy. Last year the […]


Editorial: Getting the recognition your co-op deserves

Co-ops should not be shy to seek recognition for the good they do – is concern for the community the key to being more widely acknowledged?

Recognition is a word that I’m sure many of us believe co-operatives are starved of. Businesses are normally recognised through awards ceremonies – but with an affinity for democracy and being fair to everyone, is the awards circuit a natural fit for co-operatives? To be in with a chance of winning, you have to be […]


Co-ops have the opportunity to start with the right business model

Prof Carlisle is a pioneer of business improvement through profitable co-operation

“How can co-ops manage their business well?”, asked Dr John Carlisle, a visiting professor at Sheffield Hallam University’s business school. In his presentation at the Co-operative Education Conference in Manchester, Dr Carlisle argued co-ops should redesign the business model for co-operative education. He thinks that many courses focused on the co-operative model fail to take […]


Co-op Funeralcare welcomes 1,500th (and oldest) apprentice

Robert Brown, Co-op Funeralcare's 1,500th apprentice since the programme was launched in 2013

Co-operative Funeralcare is celebrating the recruitment of its 1,500th apprentice – 67-year-old detective sergeant Robert Brown. The Co-operative Group’s funeral division aimed to recruit an apprentice per day in 2015 and has exceeded its target with an intake of 40 to 50 new apprentices each month. Since the apprenticeship programme launched in 2013, around 500 have […]


Co-operative College launches new website at AGM

Simon Parkinson, principal and chief executive of the Co-operative College speaking at the AGM in Manchester

At its first annual general meeting as a membership organisation, the Co-operative College launched a new website, which will act as a central hub for its members, with polls, topics and digital badges. The college has also announced the results of the election for its board of trustees. The College elected John Boyle, Trisha Jaffe, […]


How co-op research can promote engagement across generations

Two sessions at the Co-operative Education Conference looked at changing perceptions of co-ops across communities and generations

Delegates at the Co-operative Education Conference in Manchester looked at different approaches to research. One case study came from the Algoma University in Canada, which runs a Community Economic and Social Development (CESD) programme that promotes community-based research. The undergraduate programme has a strong practical component and includes an international development project. Gayle Broad, associate […]