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Infrastructure bodies must work more closely together says Co‑operatives UK in response to funding cuts

News item

9th September 2020
Last updated
30th October 2020
Co-operatives UK
Holyoake House

Co‑operative infrastructure organisations must focus on collaborative action to mitigate any loss of funding from The Co-op, says apex body. 

The Co-op, the UK’s largest co-op has provided unparalleled levels of support to the UK’s co‑operative infrastructure bodies – including Co‑operatives UK – since their inception. However, as reported in The Co-op News, a number of sector organisations, including The Co-op News, are facing cuts.  

Co-operatives UK’s Head of Membership, John Atherton, said: “I know this is a blow for Co-op News. Processing the information can’t be easy, but the focus now has to be on working together to navigate our way through what will be a challenging period. Tough decisions will have to be made, but we’re committed to working with Co-op News, The Co-operative College, The Co-op and others to find solutions that work for all parties. We’ve already reached out to Rebecca (Harvey, Co-op News editor) and want to explore all options.”

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We continue to see real value in effective movement-wide communication here in the UK – and a link to the wider, global network. It’s really important this function isn’t lost.
– John Atherton, Head of Membership, Co-operatives UK

“We all know these are extraordinary times. We’re acutely aware of the incredible pressures to cut costs faced by many of our members, large and small. At the same times we’re all looking to add value. We (Co‑operatives UK) have also been tasked with reducing our financial dependency on The Co‑op. This isn’t anything new,” continues John. 

“A reduction in the overall reliance on retail society subscriptions is an important element of our current three-year strategy (and previous strategy). We have made good progress but The Co‑op’s contribution still remains substantial and significant. Like all infrastructure bodies – and co‑ops in general – we need to ensure we continue to provide real value to all our members.”

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