How co-operatives are major global players as social employers


Together, co-operative enterprises constitute a major part of the world’s economy. Latest academic research, undertaken for the annual World Co-operative Monitor, suggests that the largest 1,500 or so co-operative firms have a combined turnover of USD 2.5 trillion. As the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) points out, this means that co-operatives are major employers, both in […]


Labour focuses on the co-operative option at policy forum


In preparation for its 2015 general election manifesto, Labour’s national policy forum has been focussing on co-operative solutions in housing, rail and education. Labour leader Ed Miliband said during his speech at the forum that the party’s programme sought to empower communities, create jobs and place public interest above the interest of the few. He […]


Hampshire solar co-op now ‘switched on’ to provide power to 600 homes

West Solent Solar Co-operative will provide energy for around 600 homes. (Image: West Solent Solar Co-operative)

A co-operative solar farm has begun producing clean energy after its share issue raised £2.6m in just eight weeks. Hampshire’s West Solent Solar Co-operative ‘switched on’ on 27 June, and will now provide energy for around 600 homes. The co-op hit its target for the 2.4MW solar farm after 500 investors signed up, oversubscribing the offer by more than £250,000. Director Anthony […]


International Summit will focus on the innovation of co-operatives

Quebec City, home of the International Summit of Cooperatives

Designed to create a global forum for co-operative leaders, academics and experts, the biennial International Summit of Cooperatives will be examining how co-operatives can provide innovative solutions for the big challenges facing the world. This year’s summit will focus on five main themes: developing co-operative and mutual enterprises; economics, financing and capitalisation; employment; food security; and […]


Co-op awarded for impact on local economy

Jason Whittleton (left) of East of England Co-op receives the Food and Farming Excellence award from Chris Bushby of Suffolk Agricultural Association

East of England Co-op has won a regional award for its Sourced Locally initiative. The East Anglian Daily Times Business Award for Food and Farming Excellence went to the co-op for its commitment to supporting local producers and bringing local goods to its stores. The awards, presented in Ipswich on 10 July, celebrate the contribution to the East […]


Mountain listed as asset of community value

The Southern face of Blencathra (Image: Peer Lawther)

For the first time, a mountain has been listed as a asset of community value. Blencathra, a Lakeland fell, was listed under the Localism Act by Eden District Council following its meeting on 7 July. It was nominated by community group Friends of Blencathra, which aims to bring the mountain into community ownership. This followed the […]


National awards recognise community-owned enterprises

The winners of the first ever Rural Community Ownership Award celebrate

Five community shops and a co-op pub were winners at the first ever UK Rural Community Ownership Awards. The Plunkett Foundation presented the awards at a ceremony earlier this month. Winner of the finance category was Brockweir and Hewelsfield Village Shop in Gloucestershire, which has consistently increased turnover, from £74,000 when it started in 2004 to £295,855 10 years […]


Community groups can apply for grants from Midcounties Co-operative

In June last year Midcounties gave away £100,000 for the Community Fund, which was shared across numerous charities.

Midcounties Co-operative is offering grants of up to £2,000 to local charities and voluntary organisations that provide services and meet the needs of the local community. The society has been sponsoring local community groups through its Community Fund since launching it in 2011. The fund was designed for community groups making a difference to the local […]


How co-operatives can have a positive impact on people’s health


Each year 285,000 people across the world die through financial difficulty, but co-operatives can help shift this with a focus on long-term investment to prevent economic shocks, which in turn will have a positive impact on people’s health. According to a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with Harvard University, […]