THE Co-operative Group has purchased a Lowry drawing of a Co-op store for £ 35,000 to preserve it for posterity.
The 1950 pastel picture of the Market Square Co-op store in Cleator Moor, Cumbria, was recently purchased at auction at Christie's in London.
The store belonged to Cumbrian Co-op, which today forms part of the Co-operative Group's North Eastern and Cumbrian region.
Now the Group plans to loan the drawing to The Lowry art gallery at Salford Quays – but not before it's been given a viewing in its `home town` of Cleator Moor.
Co-operative Group chief executive Martin Beaumont said: `Lowry's associations with Salford are well-documented, but he was also a frequent visitor to Cumbria, where he had a number of close friends.
`The Co-op, too, has close links with both areas with a strong trading presence in Salford and the north west and Cumbria for more than a century. This is a wonderful piece of Co-op history that we wanted to share with the general public and preserve for posterity.`
Mr Beaumont is pictured proudly displaying the picture with Co-operative Group chairman Keith Darwin.