Co-operatives SouthWest

Collage of regional scenes

Co-operatives in the South West of England

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 - including the Co-operative Bank - 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 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.  You can read or download our leaflet on the co-operative economy in the South West (PDF) for further information - you'll probably be surprised at the strength, breadth and influence of the co-operative sector.  You can locate individual co-operatives in the South West and what they have to offer you, and read our latest newsletter on-line (PDF). Please get in touch and find out how you can get involved!


Co-operative SW and Move Your Business held a two-day conference on 8-9 November 2013.  You can read all about it here.

Co-operatives South West works in partnership with Co-operatives UK.

What is the Future for the co-operative sector?

Commissioned by Co-operatives UK, Robin Murray – a co-operative innovator and key thinker behind Fairtrade, Twin Trading and much more besides – has produced a radical vision of the how the co-operative sector can expand in the 21st Century.

Co-operation in the age of Google shows that we are living at a time of profound transformation. The information and communication revolution, widespread concerns about private sector greed, public sector finances and impending climate chaos present a wide range of possibilities for co-operative expansion. The review proposes a series of practical initiatives to strengthen the co-operative sector. To view Co-operation in the age of Google, click here.

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