A new report published by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is calling for further support for co-operatives in Greater Manchester to ensure the city-region stays at the forefront of co-operative development and bring even greater economic benefits to the local community.
Greater Manchester is home of the co-operative movement. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was established in 1844 and today Greater Manchester remains home of the Co-operative Group, the world’s largest consumer owned business.
The A Co-operative Greater Manchester was commissioned by the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham in February 2019. It sets out a number of recommendations to support the development of the co-operative sector in Greater Manchester and make the most of the social, environmental and economic benefits co-operatives bring. Keeping the city region at the forefront of the cooperative movement.
Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “The building blocks of cooperation in Greater Manchester are already strong and more than 160,000 people in the city-region are already members of a co-operative, with co-operatives contributing £73 million to the city-region’s economy.
“The commission has been crucial in drawing on the work that needs to be done to continue and further the success of co-operatives in Greater Manchester. I would like to thank them for all of their efforts in preparing this important report, and hope these recommendations can steer the co-operative community to bring even more benefits to our economy.”
The Commission has recommended Greater Manchester is designated as a Co-operative Zone with a dedicated resource to offer business advice and support for both existing co-operatives and those who wish to start or convert to a co-operative approach.
Chair of the Greater Manchester Co-operative Commission and Leader of Rochdale Council, Councillor Allen Brett said: “Our vision for Greater Manchester is one where people collaborate, communities are empowered and co-operatives grow and thrive.
“The Pioneers set up their first co-operative shop in Rochdale and we believe that Greater Manchester should continue to lead the way in co-operative innovation, applying the principles and values to create an economy based in maximising impact and productivity for all.
“That is what this report is all about, using this innovation and harnessing the power of co-operatives for the good of everyone in Greater Manchester. I hope that the co-operative community will use it to help build on all of the success they have already had as we look to build co-operation for a new decade.”