An online event exploring the challenges and opportunities of building mutual businesses and a more cooperative local economy.


Alex Bird – Cooperative Researcher & Activist, ex-chair Banc Cambria project

Hannah and/or Paul Birch – Revolver Cooperative

Ben Moss – Bristol Wood Recycling Project

Watch a recording of the event

Economic cooperatives arise from periods of adversity. The Rochdale Pioneers from the struggle to get affordable food. The worker co-ops of the late ‘70s to save manufacturing jobs.

And now: declining public services, gig economy jobs and vanishing high street employment?

Co-ops and mutuals show many signs of making a comeback: in traditional sectors and new digital services. Even in ‘prosperous’ Bath locals have flocked to found and support mutual enterprises such as pubs, leisure clubs, farms, shops and the Bath & West Community Energy business.

But, unlike other countries, the sector is small and individual mutuals face many obstacles to get established and succeed. Where is it heading and what can we learn from successful co-ops?