Co-operatives' turnover soars to £37bn as record 15m join

Co-operative businesses have reached an all-time high with a record 15.4 million members, an increase of 36 per cent since 2008 and up 13.6 per cent over the year.

The turnover of co-operatives has surged to £37bn, a rise of 3.3 per cent in the last 12 months, according to a report published today by Co-operatives UK.

Meanwhile in the last year, more than 8,000 members have raised £9m through community share offers to register 35 new co-operative community businesses in the UK.

Ed Mayo, the secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said people are turning to co-operatives because they allow them to take greater control of their own destiny and growing their own way out of recession.

"A record number of people in the UK are now members of co-operatives," Mr Mayo said. "They are economically active within those co-operatives, and have a big stake in making them a success. This is why we can still see growth in the co-operative economy – despite the very tough economic trading conditions."

There is no single type of entrepreneur or organisation choosing the co-operative option, according to the report. The co-operative economy in the UK includes customer-owned shops and community pubs, foster-care and child-care providers, and multi-million-pound co-operatives such as Co-operative Energy.

Enterprises include individual entrepreneurs, employers who are sharing ownership, communities, customers and even sports fans who own and run their own clubs.

The latest to group together in a co-operative to save a pub are residents and real ale fans who have teamed up to save the Fox and Goose pub in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. They have acted after ill-health forced the current landlady to announce that she could not continue to run the pub.

They have launched a community share offer, with support from the Co-operative Enterprise Hub, to raise the £130,000 needed to buy and refurbish The Fox – a pub listed as a community asset and the site of an alehouse since the early 14th century.

Michael Fairclough, the Co-operative's head of community and co-operative investment, said: "Co-operation can be key to safeguarding much-loved local assets. Communities working together are a powerful catalyst for change capable of overcoming many of the challenges facing today's society, environment and economy."

Mr Mayo said: "People are taking action. They want a say in what matters to them. In this time of limited economic growth and social challenges, the appetite is to seek to achieve independent control, to run a fair organisation that benefits all and to place increasing importance on planning for the longer term."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?