Building a strong, distinctive & unified co-operative sector in the South West
Across the region there are hundreds of co-operative and mutual businesses, ranging from those with a national presence such as large building societies and The Co-operative Group to small local enterprises, owned by workers, consumers or the wider community. They are supported by organisations providing specialist business advice to existing co-operatives or those wishing to start up new co-operative and community enterprises.
The latest figures indicate there are about 600 co-operative and mutual enterprises, employing 13,500 workers. They offer goods and services in arts and design, IT, sports and leisure, catering, housing and education, recycling and waste collection and many more areas. This site explains what makes co-ops and mutuals different from other businesses - or even other social enterprises.
We have recently produced a comprehensive Directory of Co-operatives in South West UK which lists co-ops and mutuals in each county with their website/contact details, categorised by type of business. We hope you find this Directory very useful in determining what other co-ops are operating in your area and that it will facilitate trading with some of them where possible, helping to strengthen the sector. Please feel free to download the Directory and/or pass it on to others.
You can also read or download our leaflet on the co-operative economy in the South West (PDF) (last published in 2012) - you'll probably be surprised at the strength, breadth and influence of the co-operative sector.
We produce monthly e-bulletins of News relating to co-operatives - let us know if you would like to be included on the distribution list for these bulletins and please get in touch if you'd like to include your own co-ops news! We no longer produce printed newsletters but you can look up historical copies here.
Co-operatives South West works in partnership with Co-operatives UK.