LEEDS Co-op members have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the proposed merger with United Co-operatives.
A meeting at the city's Hilton Hotel achieved well above the necessary two thirds majority, with over 90% of members present voting in favour. A confirmatory meeting will be held on January 8th and if a majority of those present vote in favour again, the merger will take place on January 12th.
The Leeds board recommended merger to achieve a stronger competitive position in response to rising competition, increased operating costs and significant changes in some key markets, notably travel.
"The Board is committed to continuing and developing a strong co-operative presence in Leeds and we consider that a merger with United is the best way of achieving this," said society President David Schofield.
"The membership has shown that it shares our confidence in achieving this more convincingly with a much larger and more powerful co-operative which has extensive interests across not only in Yorkshire but throughout Northern England and beyond."
*Further coverage in the next issue of Co-operative News which will be published between Christmas and New Year.