UK co-op membership reaches record high

Aimee Meade, “UK co-op membership reaches record high“, Guardian, 24 June 2013

A record number of entrepreneurs, employers and communities in the UK have opted for the co-operative business model, according to a new report by Co-operatives UK.

The report Homegrown: The Co-operative Economy 2013 which was published today by Co-operatives UK, outlined how local shops, owned and run by members of communities across the UK had a combined turnover of £49m in 2012 with over 50,000 members.

Those opting for the co-op model include entrepreneurs, employers who are sharing ownership, communities, customers and even sports fans who own and run their own clubs.

Co-operative memberships reached an all-time-high of 15.4m this year, a 36% increase since 2008 and 13.6% increase in the last year, of individuals and groups owning and controlling their own business through a co-operative enterprise.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK said: “A record number of people in the UK are now members of co-operatives.

“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.

“More and more Britons are turning to co-opratives, taking greater control of their own destiny and growing their own way out of recession.”

The growing appeal of sharing ownership, profits and control has lead to a diverse co-operative economy in the UK that includes customer owned shops, community pubs, foster-care and child-care and multi-million pound co-operatives.

Read the full article here.