The Co‑operative Bank extends support for The Hive until 2020

The Hive, a support programme for co‑ops delivered by Co‑operatives UK in partnership with The Co‑operative Bank, will be extended until the end of 2020.

A £1 million programme spread over three years, The Hive was launched in spring 2016 and has so far helped over 500 groups and co‑ops with specialist support and training.

As well as a website packed with 100s of free resources, The Hive offers a range of support – from workshops for new groups considering setting up a co-op and helping new co-ops to register and launch, to advising existing co-ops who need advice or support in specific areas from business planning to governance.

The extension of support means over 1200 groups and co‑ops will get help from The Hive by the end of 2020. The Hive will also help co‑ops raise a projected £6.5m of finance through community shares – enabling communities to take control of valued local assets that otherwise would have been lost.

Ed Mayo, Secretary General at Co‑operatives UK, says:

“Co‑operatives UK – and the wider co-operative sector – welcome the additional funding from The Co-operative Bank to extend this vital support for co-ops. If we want to see a successful economy – where more people have a say in decision-making and receive a fair share – then we need more co-operatives. Since launching, This Hive has provided support at several crucial stages in the life of a co‑operative and the fact that this support can continue for an additional two years is a huge boost for the sector. “

Ryan Etchells, Head of Business Banking at The Co‑operative Bank, said:

“We’re proud to continue to fund The Hive programme and support co‑operative businesses as they develop and grow into successful and sustainable businesses in the current economic climate. The Hive is a great initiative and one that we hope will encourage more individuals and groups to set out on the path of starting up their own co-operative business.”

Direct business advice and training for The Hive is delivered by around 50 expert co-op advisers as well as via an extended mentor network of 1000s of the UK's co-ops.

Hear from some of the groups supported by The Hive.


The Hive as well as an online resource for starting, growing or converting to a co‑op, The Hive offers:

Written by Leila O'Sullivan
Updated: 24/07/2018