Former Nisa chief executive Neil Turton is to join trade body Co-operatives UK in the new role of chief operating officer.

Co-operatives UK is the network for the UK’s thousands of co-operative enterprises, working to promote, develop and unite member-owned businesses ranging from high street retailers to housing co-ops that together are worth £34 billion to the UK economy, the organisation claims. In his new role, Turton will lead its operations and business development, working closely with secretary general Ed Mayo.

Turton worked at Nisa for more than 23 years and was chief executive from 2007-2015, during which time turnover grew from £989 million to £1.6 billion. Since then he has held senior roles at HIM International and My Local.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said: “We are delighted to have recruited someone of Neil’s calibre. Not only will he bring operational know-how and commercial acumen, but his experience in the retail sector and leading a large mutual business make him the perfect candidate for this senior role. Neil’s addition will help us make an even bigger impact in supporting and advocating for co-ops across the country.”

Turton added: “The co-operative sector is diverse, with major brands like The Co-op and Arla sitting alongside local community owned pubs and football clubs. I know well from my years at Nisa the immense benefits that co-operative businesses large and small can bring to their members, and the chance to strengthen and grow the co-operative economy is one I look forward to with relish and enthusiasm.”