A conference taking place in Birmingham (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd February) is to look at ways to make more places like Hebden Bridge!
Future Co-ops 2019 will address how the co-operative sector can grow and has found that Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire has almost 50 times more independent co-operatives per head of population than Hull, only 80 miles away.
As independent, democratically-owned and controlled businesses, co-operatives often tackle some of the most important issues in a locality such as employment, access to healthy foods and care issues. But the establishment of these businesses is very sporadic and Future Co-ops 2019 will explore new, practical actions to help co-op deserts bloom!
While Hebden Bridge has been identified, in this study, as being one of the top English towns in terms of number of co-operatives per inhabitant, a number of other towns and cities have a significant density of co-ops too.
University cities, especially those with a tradition of social innovation, seem to display a higher density of co-operatives with Bristol, Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton and Manchester all scoring relatively well.
After Hebden Bridge, Totnes in Devon has been identified by Co-operative Futures as another strong example of an English ‘co-operative town’, although Hebden Bridge still has twice the number of co-operatives per head as Totnes.
According to Jo White of Co-operative Futures, the organisers of the event, co-operatives can be found right across the UK, but their distribution is very uneven.
“Our figures give an insight into the uneven distribution of co-ops. There are brilliant co-operatives across the country, and we all want to see them replicated. Future Co-ops 2019 gives delegates the opportunity to learn from Central England Co-operative’s Think Digital team some innovative, engaging and effective techniques in generating solutions to problems. We’ll be applying those techniques to the conference’s central theme – how to make co-operative deserts bloom and turn everywhere into Hebden Bridge. Only with less rain. Join us for fun, challenge, learning and great networking!”
Find out more: https://futures.coop/future-coops-2019