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Delivered by Co-operatives UK in partnership with The Co-operative Bank

How co-ops can empower communities


Start date / time
Thursday 03 February 2022, 1:00pm
End date / time
Thursday 03 February 2022, 2:00pm
Organised by
Co-operatives UK
Event type
Community Drumming in Lancaster

An opportunity for groups across the Lancaster district and beyond to discover the power of co-ops to strengthen communities.

One of a series of webinars brought to you by The Hive, a programme of support for new and existing coops delivered by Cooperatives UK in partnership with The Cooperative Bank.

This webinar is also being delivered in partnership with Lancaster City Council. 

About the webinar

The last decade has seen an increase in the number of community owned co‑ops across the UK. Co‑ops are democratic businesses that allow local communities to take control of the services and spaces that matter most to them. They enable people to pool resources to trade goods and services that benefit the community. 

Join us for this webinar, delivered in partnership with Lancaster City Council for those living and working in the Lancaster district. Lancaster City Council is committed to investing in its communities, promoting social enterprise and building community wealth. 

The one‑hour session will be introduced by Daniel Clarke, Community Wealth Building Officer at Lancaster City Council, and delivered by Co‑operatives UK’s Petra Morris, who’ll explain:

  • How local people can form co‑ops to create solutions that meet their needs and enrich and revitalise their neighbourhoods.
  • The important role co‑operatives can play in strengthening communities, creating wealth locally and enabling people to have greater control over what happens in their area. 
  • The benefits of the co‑op model for empowering people at grass roots level.
  • How communities can come together to take control of local assets. 

The cluster of co-ops at Halton Mill are examples of groups coming together in Lancaster to meet local needs. We’ll hear from a speaker from one of these co‑ops who’ll explain their role in empowering and supporting communities. 

The webinar will also signpost to the help and support available from Lancaster City Council and The Hive business support programme.


  • An online one‑hour webinar on Zoom
  • An introduction from Lancaster City Council’s Daniel Clarke, followed by presentations from Co‑operatives UK's Petra Morris and a speaker from a Lancaster based co-op, with an opportunity to ask questions at the end

How much does it cost?

This webinar is FREE to everyone who wants to attend.

What attendees will learn:

  • What a co‑operative is and the purpose of co‑ops
  • What a co‑operative isn’t – myth busting about co‑ops
  • Co‑op values and principles
  • The economic, social and personal benefits of running a co‑op business
  • How to decide if a co‑op is the right business model for you
  • What support is available from Lancaster City Council and The Hive business support programme for those wishing to set up a co-op

Who should attend?

Anyone in the Lancaster district and beyond who’s keen to learn more about co‑operatives, this includes:

  • Communities exploring whether a community enterprise model is suitable for their situation
  • Groups looking to set up a community enterprise to save or maintain a community asset
  • Community groups and businesses looking to join forces with other similar organisations
  • New start-ups and young businesses
  • Anyone wanting to learn more about co‑ops: business advisors, community leaders, voluntary sector support agencies, etc. 

About the speakers

Daniel Clarke is responsible for developing and driving initiatives that support Lancaster City Council’s community wealth building programme. Community wealth building is an approach to local economic development that redirects wealth back into the local economy, and places control and benefits in the hands of local people. It promotes various models of enterprise ownership, including co‑operatives, which can deliver long term social and economic benefits. 

Petra Morris works in the Development Team at Co‑operatives UK and leads on the delivery of The Hive business support programme which has supported thousands of co-ops. She’s busy co‑operating elsewhere too, as a voluntary Director (Secretary) of Friends of Stretford Public Hall, a historic multi-purpose building owned by its 800 investor members. Petra has previously run her own business and spent many years in local government promoting tourism, economic development and supporting local communities.

Chris Coates is the site manager at Halton Mill for the Green Elephant Co‑operative who manage a co‑operative office and workspace just outside Lancaster. The co‑op is part of a cluster of co‑ops including a food co‑op and a car club. Chris has many years’ experience in the co‑op sector, being involved in both housing co-ops and worker co‑ops during the ‘new wave’ of co‑operatives that formed in the 1980s.

Recording the webinar

This webinar will be recorded. We will share the recording with participants shortly afterwards. This webinar is part of a series. If you cannot attend this one, we hope you can join us for another webinar. Alternatively, visit our step by step: start a co-op tool or read about the business support available to start-up co-ops.

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