The Co-operative of the Year awards 2017

The UK's best co-ops, chosen by you

Which are the UK's best co-operatives? From large commercial businesses to expanding enterprises and innovative start-ups, there are thousands of thriving co-operatives across the UK. We asked you, the people who are running, using and supporting co-operatives up and down the country, to decide.

After a month of nominations we had a shortlist of 10 fantastic co-operatives spread over three award categories. You can read the nominations for each of the awards, Leading, Growing and Inspiring Co-operative of the Year Award 2017. 

Voting for the Co-operative of the Year 2017 Awards has now closed. The winners in each category were announced at the awards dinner at Congress on Friday 30 June.

The Co-operative of the Year Award Categories

Leading co-operative of the year 2017

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. It was won last year by Central England Co-operative. Read the nominations.

Growing co-operative of the year 2017

The growing co-operative of the year award is for co-ops with a turnover between £1m and £30 million, and includes co-ops from leisure trusts and sports clubs to successful worker-owned businesses. It was won last year by the Phone Co-op. Read the nominations.

Inspiring co-operative of the year 2017

The inspiring co-operative of the year 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. It was won last year by Riverside Housing Co-operative. Read the nominations.

"As a member owned society, this award win is particularly important to us because it was voted for by our members. The fact that they took the time to go online and support us shows that they are really excited and engaged with the work we’re doing in their local community." Ben Reid, Chief Executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, Co-operative of the Year winner in 2015

The process

  • Nominations for the three award catgories were accepted until 30 April. Those submitting nominations were asked to set out in no more than 250 words why they were nominating a co-op for the award
  • Online voting ran from 8 May to 22 June
  • The winners were announced at Co-operative Congress on Friday 30 June

How to nominate a co-op

Simply complete the form explaining in 250 words or less why you are nominating the co-operative, whether it's yours or another, and submit this with your name and organisation. The only proviso is that the co-op you are nominating must be a member of Co-operatives UK.

What makes for a good nomination

The best nominations will persuade someone who doesn't know the co-op to vote for it. Fast growth? Profitable? Innovative? Great member involvement? Excellent products? Making a difference? It's your decision as to why the co-op deserves the nomination. The key is to convince others to vote for it.

How the shortlisting works

Up to five co-operatives for each category will be shortlisted by our nominations panel, made up of Co-operatives UK’s Chair, Secretary General and Membership Manager. There are no formal criteria, nominations will be based on the strength of the 250 word nomination. The previous year's winners are not eligible to enter.

How the voting works

Anyone can vote once for their favourite in each category. So each person gets three votes in total, though you can just vote for one if you want. Co-operatives are encouraged to promote the awards to their staff, customers and members. All votes must be online via the awards website.

What the winners get

The winners of the three categories will benefit from promotion of their co-operative, the kudos of winning this prestigious award and option to access £1,000 worth of specialist business advice from The Hive, our business support programme in partnership with The Co-operative Bank.

The Co-operative of the Year Awards are once again kindly sponsored by the Co‑operative Councils' Innovation Network