LEEDS Co-op has announced that it is proposing to its members that the society should merge with the Rochdale-based United Co-operatives.
Leeds Society has an annual turnover of £ 76 million and employs around 700 people in its 60-plus food, travel, funeral and optical outlets .
The merger proposal will be presented to members at a special meeting to be held in Leeds on Monday 11th December and, providing two-thirds of those present back the move, a confirmatory meeting will be held on Monday 8th January.
If members approve the proposal, it would take effect from mid-January next year.
Leeds President David Schofield said: "The society has been hugely successful over the last few years both in terms of its improved financial performance and in the growth in members' democratic participation.
"We believe that the best way to further improve upon these achievements is through a merger, from strength, with United Co-operatives. We believe that such a merger will bring significant benefits to the members, employees and our local communities."
Welcoming the proposed merger, United Chief Executive Peter Marks, said: "This is great news for both societies.
"Coming so soon after the overwhelming vote by Sheffield members to join United, the Leeds board's decision clearly demonstrates the growing awareness that the Movement needs to come together to beat the competition.
"If Leeds members back the merger, as I hope they will, then we would look forward to working together with them and with our new colleagues in Sheffield to the benefit of members and customers throughout the enlarged society."
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