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In partnership with The Co‑operative Bank

About the Co-op of the Year Awards

The Co-op presented with an award

The co-op sector’s annual awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of co‑operators and co‑operative organisations across the UK.  

What are the Co-op of the Year Awards?

These coveted annual awards celebrate the power of co-operation, and the contribution of co-operative enterprises across the UK. 

Who can enter?

An inspiring celebration, the Co-operative of the Year Awards are FREE to enter and open to all Co‑operatives UK members.

We have three award categories for co-ops, one co-op council award and a number of awards for individuals who embody the co-op value and principles.

The individual awards are selected by a panel of judges made up of representatives from Co‑operatives UK members. 

Award categories

The leading co-operative of the year award is for co-ops with a turnover above £30 million. Featuring high-performing retail, farming and housing co-ops among others, this will be a hotly contested category. 

The Co-op was the proud winner in 2019.

This award is for co-ops with a turnover of between £1m and £30 million, and includes a range of thriving co-ops, from leisure trusts and sports clubs to successful worker-owned businesses. 

The 2019 winner was The Schools' Energy Co-op.

Won in 2019 by Bristol Wood Recycling Project, this award is for co‑ops with a turnover of up to £1 million, covering everything from start-ups and community shops, to freelancer co‑ops and care providers.

Won in 2019 by South Tyneside Council, this recognises best practice as demonstrated by co-operative local authorities and also celebrates the great work delivered at a local level. 

This award is sponsored by CCIN, the Co-operative Councils' Innovation Network. The award is open to any Council Member of the CCIN who has not won this award previously. 

These awards recognise inspirational UK-based co-operators who embody the co-operative values and principles and/or who have helped to shape the co-operative movement.

Nominations are open to anyone affiliated to a Co-operatives UK member and there will be several awards presented. 

Make your nominations

How it all works... 


Co-ops nominate themselves or another co-op and as many individuals as they like for the awards. Please select which category you think best suits each nomination. The closing date for nominations is midnight on 4 April 2021. Nominate now.


The judging panel will shortlist nominated co-ops based on the strength of the 250 word nomination(s). The previous year’s winners are not eligible to enter. The judges will anonymously rank the shortlisted co‑ops, and they will be given a score.  


A judging panel representing a cross section of Co‑operatives UK’s member co-ops will shortlist and rank co-ops in each category.  The panel includes Co‑operatives UK’s CEO, a senior representative from sponsors The Co‑operative Bank and CCIN (for the Co-op Council Award) and up to six Co‑operatives UK member co-ops. If you would like to be a judge contact the membership team by midnight on 15 March 2021.


Anyone can vote once for their favourite in each category. But you do not have to vote in every category. Shortlisted co‑operatives are encouraged to promote the awards to their staff, customers and members. All votes must be online via the awards website. The judges’ scores will be combined with the votes to decide the winners.

How the individual awards are chosen

There is no public voting for the individual awards. The winners will be decided by the judging panel, based on the strength of the 250-word nomination(s). Several people can win awards, there is no maximum number of Co‑operator of the Year Awards. 

What the winners get

The awards are a great chance to promote your co-op and the winners will be announced on social media in July 2021. The Breakthrough Co‑operative of the Year will also have the option to access £1,200 worth of specialist business advice from The Hive, our business support programme in partnership with The Co‑operative Bank.

Quote mark
We were thrilled to receive the award and the recognition of our work helping schools to tackle climate change by generating green energy on their roofs.
– Laura Moreno, The Schools’ Energy Co-operative (Inspiring Co-op of the Year Award winner 2019)

When do the Co-op of the Year Awards take place?

  • Nominations open w/c 15 February and close at midnight on 4 April 2021.
  • The shortlist is announced in early April and shortlisted co-ops are encouraged to canvass for votes.
  • Public voting closes at midnight on 1 June 2021.
  • The winners will be announced on social media in July 2021.
Ready to nominate a co-op or individual?
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