The merger of Scotmid and Penrith Co-operative Societies will go ahead after Penrith members voted in favour of the proposal this week.

The boards of the two societies agreed in principle to combine in June, and 88 members of Penrith Co-operative voted overwhelmingly in support of the proposal in a Methodist Church in Penrith on August 28.

John Brodie, chief executive officer of Scotmid Co-operative, said: “This is a momentous decision for both societies and one not taken lightly by the boards of Penrith or Scotmid nor by the members, and together we can look forward, taking the best of both societies to serve the communities and extend co-operation to a wider geographic area.”

Further details of the merger will be made available over the coming months.

Scotmid Co-operative operates 350 sites across Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England, employing nearly 5,000 staff and with total sales of £428m.

Penrith Co-operative is Cumbria’s largest independent co-operative society, employing 179 staff in nine retail outlets and post offices across Cumbria and County Durham. Turnover for the year ending January 7, 2013 was £13m.