Manchester’s Co-operative sector is bucking the national trend and outperforming the UK economy, new figures show.
According to a recently published report, the combined turnover of all UK co-operatives grew by 1.5% last year to £35.6billion.
The community-focused sector has grown by a huge 20% since the financial crisis first hit the UK in 2008, while the national economy has slumped by 1.7% in the same time period.
Speaking about the reasons behind this success story, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said: “Co-operative businesses are more resilient.
“98% are still in operation after three years compared to 65% of all businesses, over half of them are in disadvantaged areas in the UK and 88% seek to minimize their environmental impact, when 44% of businesses say they have taken no action whatsoever.”
Over a quarter of the adult population in Britain is a member of a co-operative, which cover a variety of industries and are run by members and without shareholders.
There are now 4,784 co-operatives in England, with a large portion of that figure in Manchester and the North West.
David Parker, communications manager for Co-operatives North West, said: “North West England is the family home of the co-operative movement.
“There are well over 600 co-operatives in the region including the one of largest in the world, The Co-operative Group with over 7 million members.”
Explaining the secret of the Co-operative’s success in the North West, Mr Parker said: “More and more people are coming to see the conventional forms of business as unfair, incompetent and unsustainable.”
The figures come from the recently published ‘Alternatives to Austerity’ report compiled by Co-operatives UK, as part of Co-operative fortnight.
Picture courtesy of Wiki Commons