The Hive announces a new and improved support offer

We are delighted to announce changes to The Hive support – now simpler with three pathways:

  1. Start‑up groups and recently incorporated co‑operatives >
  2. Existing co‑operatives looking to grow and develop >
  3. Businesses looking to convert to co‑operative or community ownership >

What support is available?

The Hive now offers a bespoke package of support which includes some or all of the following:

  • Up to eight days of direct one-to-one advice with an expert co-operative adviser. 
  • One skills training session delivered in-house. 
  • Up to three days peer mentoring from an experienced co-operative.

Who can apply?

Applicants will need to be able to meet our new eligibility criteria. We have provided clear guidance to help groups understand if they are eligible as well as how to complete the application form.

If you have applied to The Hive before, we are happy to receive a new application from you provided it meets our eligibility criteria. 

Why change?

In an effort to continue to improve our delivery we have revised the Hive support to align with the National Co-operative Development Strategy (NCDS). The NCDS sets out ambitious targets to grow the co-operative economy and we are therefore keen to support sustainable trading co-ops which are offering something new and have a good fit with our key sectors and markets.

The Hive – a great success story

The Hive is a support programme for co‑operatives delivered by Co‑operatives UK in partnership with The Co‑operative Bank and is currently open until December 2020. Since launching in 2016, The Hive has successfully supported over 600 groups.

See our great case studies. They feature everything from a skatepark in Manchester, a whisky distillery in the Highlands of Scotland, bouncers in Newcastle, a worker-owned bakery in Leeds and wood recycling project in Bristol.

Not yet ready to apply?

Are you at the very early stages of your business idea? Still unsure whether a co-operative is the right model for your business?

Why not come along to one of our FREE 'Is a co-op right for you?' taster sessions taking place across the UK.

Written by Leila O'Sullivan
Updated: 29/03/2019