Amberley 2

Community business champion Plunkett UK, formerly Plunkett Foundation, has teamed up with Co-operatives UK, The Midcounties Co-op, Co-op, Southern Co-op, Central Co-op and Radstock Co-operative Society to form a support network of co-op retail societies. 

Inspired by Principle 6 - co-operation among co-ops - the group will aid rural businesses by sharing resources and expertise

The network has three core aims:

1️⃣ To raise an annual financial contribution towards Plunkett’s free community business service
2️⃣ To utilise retail co-ops’ knowledge, expertise and networks for the benefit of smaller community-owned businesses
3️⃣ To explore practical ways of supporting community-owned businesses together or independently.

James Alcock, Plunkett UK’s chief executive, said, “The support of the UK’s co-operative retail societies is of vital importance to enable us to provide greater access to bespoke business advice that will help the co-operative sector grow and go from strength to strength. Despite a number of very difficult trading years, we have not seen any real increase in the number of closures of rural community-owned co-operatives, and we are still celebrating 5-year survival rates of 99% and 20+ year survivals rate of 92%.

“By partnering with some of the bigger co-operatives across the UK we are hoping to access those industry-based skills, knowledge, contacts and experiences. As there is not an issue of competition, it is simply putting principle 6 into action – co-operatives working with co-operatives. We are incredibly grateful to every co-operative supporting this initiative so far and welcome a conversation with those interested in joining us!”