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Unlocking co-operative growth: Opportunities for co-operatives under new Labour government

A graphic featuring a map of the UK with key figures showing the size of the co-operative and mutual economy. Those numbers include a total income figure of £87.9 billion. The graphic is overlaid with the words 'where it all starts'.

The co-operative movement is committed to working with the new government to deliver its manifesto commitment for co-operative growth.

Together, we will deliver 

Today’s (5 July 2024) election result provides a major opportunity to unlock co‑operative growth across the UK.

Labour’s manifesto included a pledge to aim to double the size of the co-operative and mutual sector and prominent co-operatives have written to the new Prime Minister, welcoming this vote of confidence in our movement and offering partnership to deliver on the new government's commitment.  

Co-operatives are united behind this ambition and have a shared vision for how it can be achieved. From farming to retail to credit unions, co-operatives with a combined annual turnover of more than £20 billion - and owned by millions of members - backed a Call for Co-operative Growth in the run up to the election.  

James Wright, Policy and Development Lead for Co-operatives UK, said: "Government's aim to double the size of the co-operative and mutual sector is ambitious but very achievable. We have a clear vision for how it can be done, through partnership between a united sector and government. Success will be transformative, not only for our movement, but for communities across the UK."

How big is the co‑operative and mutual sector?
Get all the facts and figures in our Co‑operative and Mutual Economy report.

In its manifesto, Labour pledged to work with our sector to address barriers to growth, including access to finance. Encouragingly, our sector and new government are on the same page, with the top policy priorities, drawn from the Call for Co-operative Growth, being:  

  1. Unlocking new capital raising options 
  2. Reforming co-operative legislation 
  3. Ensuring local co-operative development is properly resourced  

The new government’s Local Power Plan is set to kickstart a boom in community energy, putting co‑operatives at the heart of its net zero mission. Meanwhile, the party’s announcements on community ownership will empower people to revitalise their high streets. 

Given the opportunity, co-operatives will also help Labour deliver in other areas, including food security, better social care, affordable housing and making work pay.  

Co-operatives UK and other sector bodies will be working in the coming weeks to ensure co‑operatives and mutuals are informed and involved.  

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