Co-op activists to launch ambitious growth campaign

Co-operative activists will be launching an ambitious challenge when they meet for their annual conference in Wroughton, near Swindon, this weekend.

The Future Co-operatives conference will be looking at ways of growing the co-operative economy from two to 20 percent of UK gross domestic product by 2050.

The conference will be held at Alexandra House in Wroughton from Friday, 27 to Sunday, 29 January. It is organised by Co-operative Futures, the business development consultancy responsible for helping people set up co-operatives in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and the West Midlands.

“Last year marked the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Fenwick Weavers co-operative, one of the earliest societies for which records exist,” said Jim Pettipher, Co-operative Futures director and author of the From 2 to 20 Action Plan.

“The subsequent 250 years of co-operative development, investment and activity have delivered a co-operative economy that is estimated at only two percent of GDP and around 5,000 co operatives in total.

“We want to see the UK co-op sector grow ambitiously and dramatically as a portion of gross domestic product. The conference will be working out how this can be achieved.”

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