Co-operatives

Why a co-op?

A workers' co-op is a business run democratically to provide a service to the local community and meaningful employment for its members. We think a workers' co-op has a number of important advantages:

  • A less hierarchical structure means that there is a wider pool of skills, experience, ideas and energy to draw on in all areas of the business.
    With workers collectively determining the direction of the business and supporting each other, co-ops ensure greater autonomy for staff and a better working environment.

  • Co-ops are founded on principles of co-operation and mutual support, they enjoy help from other co-ops and co-operative development agencies. This is something we have already drawn great benefits from in planning our business.

  • Co-ops have social, environmental and educational aims beyond the pursuit of profit. This helps to inspire greater commitment from workers, and increases support from customers and the wider community.

  • Although decision-making can take time, decisions considered collectively will lead to better, long-lasting outcomes.

We have decided to run our Co-op by collective management. This means all the worker/members are also directors. We pay ourselves a reasonable wage and all receive the same rate of pay.

The co-op advantage

There is abundant evidence that demonstrates how being a co-op makes good financial and business sense.

Co-ops as a whole have consistently outperformed the rest of the economy for the last few years. Latest figures from Co-ops UK reveal that co-op businesses in the UK have increased their combined turnover by some 15.8% to almost £34 billion, despite UK GDP decreasing by 4.9% in the same period.

A recent report by Co-ops UK reveals the following public perceptions:

  • Fairness - 75% think co-ops are fair, while only 18% think shareholder companies (PLCs) are

  • Trust - 66% think co-ops can be trusted, but only 29% think PLCs can

  • Honesty - 63% think co-ops are honest, compared with 15% who think PLCs are honest

  • Public good - 65% of people think co-ops work for the public good, compared with 12% who think PLCs do.

For more information about co-operatives see www.uk.coop

Local co-ops

Hebden Bridge is reputed to have the second highest density of co-operatives in the country. Please support these local coops: