Community spirit can help save economy


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The Independent Online

Regulars at a York pub threatened with closure are leading the charge to save Britain's economy.

They've formed their own co-operative to buy the pub and keep it open – and they're part of a growing army of community power.

According to Co-operatives UK, there's been a 10 per cent climb in co-op businesses during the last year, and evidence suggests they have more chance of surviving.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of the organisation, said: "Our economy need a new engine based on principles such as widening ownership, sharing profits and encouraging long-term, sustainable enterprise."

The latest to grab the opportunity are regulars at The Golden Ball pub in York. With support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub they formed a co-op to raise £60,000 needed to save their local.

Member Pete Kilbane said: "We hope to encourage more than 100 members to join our co-operative with its community-oriented values and plans to celebrate local produce and locally-brewed beer."

The co-op aims to pay a return of up to five per cent to investors.

Co-op businesses can help restore communities while giving members a stake in their future, pointed out Michael Fairclough, Co-operative group's head of community. Those interested can contact Co-operative Enterprise Hub at

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