Jon Nott has been announced chair of trustees at the UK’s Co-operative College and will take up the role with immediate effect. The appointment follows the unexpected death of former College chair, Nigel Todd, in March.
The former general secretary of Woodcraft Folk (the co-operative educational movement for children and young people), Mr Nott has spent 30 years working for co-ops and member-led organisations, including serving as the first chief executive of the Green Party in 2008. He joined the College’s board in 2017.
“I’m humbled to take up the role of chair following the sad passing of Nigel Todd earlier this year,” he said. “Nigel was a true giant of the co-operative movement and someone who loved the College dearly.
“The past year has been one of change and transition for both the College and the wider world, but I’m excited by the way the College has reacted to both the challenges and the opportunities that we face.”
In January, the College announced the completion of a strategic review that aimed to reduce its running costs by 40% in a drive for financial sustainability. The move resulted in nine roles (from 17) being made redundant, with seven new part-time roles being created.
The shake-up followed a challenging period for the College, including last year’s review by the Co-op Group of its support for the movement’s core bodies, and the Covid-19 crisis.
Mr Nott believes the organisation now has a “key role to play in ensuring that co-operative education empowers people to build real alternatives to the status quo”.
He added: “It’s up to all of us, both here at the College and across the wider movement to show that there is a better way of doing things, and that co operative training, education and learning should be right at the heart of that.”
The chair of the College’s Trustee Board is re-appointed annually following elections to the board at the AGM in September.