Co-op College launches centenary year

The Co-operative College turns 100 next year – and is calling on the movement to help shape the next century

The Co-operative College has officially marked the launch of its centenary, calling on the movement to help shape its future.

Founded in 1919 as part of a Co-operative Congress Resolution, the college is an independent, member-led charity that delivers education, training, events and projects, and undertakes research.

A launch event, held in central Manchester on 22 November, showcased how the organisation has changed over the years and how its work continues to transform communities and change lives in the UK and across the world. It was also revealed that the College’s annual Education and Research Conference would take place in Rochdale – the modern birthplace of co-operation – from 26-28 November 2019.

“Our bedrock is the co-op movement,” said Nigel Todd, College chair, at the event. “Our mission is to take the values and the distinctiveness of what we do out to the wider world. We’ve been around for 100 years – we can look forward confidently and with maturity to the next 100 years, guided by our co-operative principles”

Simon Parkinson, CEO and principal of the College said that while the organisation was proud of its history and heritage, the centenary year would also be used as a launchpad to project a new image of the College.

“Next year we’re re-launching our formal learning and development offer,” he said. “We’re becoming a registered with the chartered institute of management, able to offer accredited qualifications, and we’re still on track to achieve a long-held ambition of the movement to see a co-operative university here in the UK.”

He added: “2019 will be a landmark year for us, as we re-focus our energies and ask the movement to help shape our next 100 years. With members at the heart everything we do, there’s never been a better time to join and help us build a fairer world for everyone.”

  • Find out more about the College, its centenary celebrations and membership of the organisation here