Co–op membership hits record 15.4m

THE number of people using the co-operative model to own their own businesses has reached an all-time high in the UK, according to figures released today.

Trade body Co-operative UK will publish data showing that a record 15.4 million people are members of co-ops, up 13.6 per cent year-on-year.

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The combined turnover of the UK’s co-ops has risen by 3.3 per cent in the past 12 months to £37 billion, according to a report entitled Homegrown: The Co-operative Economy 2013. The number of co-ops rose by 4 per cent year-on-year.

Ed Mayo, secretary-general of Co-operatives UK, said: “In this time of limited economic growth and social challenges, the appetite is to seek to achieve independent control … and to place increasing importance on planning for the longer term. The result is the co-operative is becoming a very real option.”