News, Events and Information - Launch of Yorkshire Co-operative Resource Centre

West Yorks Co-operators Get Together

The next West Yorkshire Co-operators get together will take place this Saturday 3rd August at Wharf Chambers Co-operative Club, 23 - 25 Wharf Street, Leeds (the grey doors) at 12.30pm to share food, updates, ideas etc.  for around 2 hours.

If you are interested in coming please let Amanda Sowerby from Pedallers Arms Co-op know on

Yorkshire Co-operative Resource Centre

Co-operatives Yorkshire & Humber have initiated the setting up of a co-operative resource, learning and information centre at:

Aizlewood's Mill,

Nursery Street,

Sheffield, S3 8GG

contact Steve Thompson

mob: 0758 1669 640

Co-operators have had no accessible centre for co-operative information and resources in Yorkshire, but things are about to change.

The success of the Co-operative Movement is largely due to the emphasis in education and information right from the start. The reading room and library in the Rochdale Pioneers store in Toad Lane set the mould for access to co-operative education.The Society used to organise lectures and classes there, and it was a permanent resource for learning. Education was placed as a core principle for a very good reason. Without informed members, there would be a failed Movement. Reading and education rooms were a common feature of all co-operative stores throughout the years of the Movement's growth.

Things changed in time. Co-operative education became more centralised and formal and distant.

The Sheffield Co-operative Development Group have provided a room at Aizlewood's Mill for the resource centre. A fascinating collection of resource materials which will form a starting point are already available. This centre will be a learning and information hub open to anyone who wants to develop their understanding of the Co-operative Movement or to gather specific information.

Collaboration will be important to this project and skills will be shared amongst co-operators.

·         A Co-operative archive collection is being developed. This will enable users to get to grips with the Co-operative Movement by tracing its path to where it is now and planning appropriate developments.

·         Users will be able to access specific information to help with their co-operatives.

·         In the tradition of the Co-operative reading and learning rooms, lectures, classes and film screenings can be organized at the Centre.

·         It can be a research facility where there will be a desk for writing.

·         This Resource Centre will work in co-operation with others in the Co-operative Movement who also have resources and a similar remit to education.

·         A lending library has been started, with 22 books, which is already growing. (see book list).

Research materials include:

Co-operative News. 2001 – 2004 some editions are missing.

Co-operative News. 2004 – to the present complete collection.

Journal of the UK Society for Co-operative Studies April 2006 – April 2011

Co-operative Group Membership publications.

Co-operative Group Annual Reports 2007- 2012.

Co-operative Group Sustainability Reports 2006 to present.

Materials regarding:

The co-operative College


The Co-operative Party

Co-operatives UK

Other co-operative organisations

Historic documents.

Yorkshire Co-operative Resource Centre Lending Library

An Inclusive Community With Integrity. (Autobiography of past Managing Director of the Co-operative Bank).

Terry Thomas

Caring And Sharing. The Centenary History of The Co-operative Women's Guild.

Jean Gaffin & David Thoms

Consumers in Politics. Co-operative Party History

Thomas Carbery

Co-op: the people's business.

Johnston Birchall


F. Hall & W.P. Watkins

HIV/AIDS and Co-operatives.

Andrew Bibby

Inside Nationwide. One Hundred Years of Co-operation.

Michael Cassell

New Views of Society: Robert Owen For The 21st Century.

Ed. Richard Bickle and Molly Scott Cato

Our Story. Rochdale Pioneers Museum guide.

Pioneers of Co-operation. (2 copies)

Professor Ian Mac Pherson & Professor Stephen Yeo

Serving The People:

The Co-operative Party from Fred Perry to Gordon Brown.

Greg Rosen

The Co-operators: A History of the Fenwick Weavers.

John Mc Fadzean. Research by John Smith

The Co-operative Revolution. A graphic novel.

The Co-operative Group. Pub. New Internationalist.

The Co-op Legacy. United Co-op.

Ed Glinert

The Hidden Alternative.

Ed. Anthony Webster, Linda Shaw, John K. Walton, Alyson Brown

and David Stewart

The Shop For The People. A History of the Co-op in Hull.

John E. Smith

Trolly Wars.

Judi Bevan

Up Then Brave Women. Manchester's Radical Women 1819 – 1918.

Michael Herbert

Weavers of Dreams. Founders of the Modern Cooperative Movement

David J Thompson

What the Rochdale Centenary Celebrates. Pub. 1944. A National Co-operative Men's Guild pamphlet

A. Bonner.

Financing Co-operatives

Unity Trust bank have produced a new brochure in conjunction with Co-operative News. For more information click on;

School Trends buys Headquarters

One of the UK’s leading suppliers of decorated school uniform, which is employee-owned, has bought back the freehold of its headquarters for less than it sold it for nine years ago.  Co-operative & Community Finance made one of its largest-ever loans to help Sheffield-based School Trends to raise the funds to complete the purchase.

School Trends supplies over 5,000 schools throughout the UK with personalised school uniforms.  The business started in 1988 and grew rapidly. The founders believed in a participative work culture and in 2004 the company became employee owned.

There are now 125 employees mainly based at the company's office in Westfield near Sheffield which was purpose built in 2003. The building has a 48,500 sq ft warehouse, industrial and office space on a site of 2.22 acres. School Trends sold the building to a commercial landlord in 2004 and then leased it back. Proceeds from the sale helped to finance the employee ownership process. 

School Trends has just bought back the building and acquired the freehold and, due to the substantial drop in property values, it has been a positive move. The mortgage and loan repayments are slightly less than it was paying in rent and the business has gained a valuable asset.

Co-operative and Community Finance drew on the ICO Fund plc and the Co-operative Loan Fund, which it manages, to provide finance towards the deposit.


Co-operative News

The fortnightly Co-operative News is the only publication that provides full coverage of the Co-operative Movement in the UK. Order your free sample copy today.

Tel: 0161 214 0870

or visit

Sheffield Co-operatives

For everything that you want to know about the Co-operative Movement in Sheffield see

Co-operatives Yorkshire and the Humber Enhanced Benefits Package

Join our enhanced scheme for a number of new benefits including a free place at Futures North 2011. The package is being delivered jointly with Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber and includes benefits such as membership of a business club for social enterprises and co-operatives and inclusion on a marketplace e-directory.

The package starts at just £25 for small co-operatives and full details can be downloaded here.

The Phone Co-op Affinity Scheme

CYH have an affinity scheme with The Phone Co-op. Any individual or organisation can join so If you're considering joining the The Phone Co-op there are several benefits you can receive by quoting our affinity number AF0461- details are available here.

If you are not a member but wish to be membership of Co-operatives Yorkshire and the Humber is free and open to all organisations who support co-operative values and principles. A membership form can be obtained by downloading a form from here