Mainstream business has failed to provide human and planetary welfare. Co-ops and community enterprises can because they put people and environment before profit maximisation. They are on the rise in Britain and in Bath. To support this trend Bath Cooperative Alliance (BCA) was formed in 2018. It has forged links between mutuals and the wider community to pursue its aims of creating awareness of the value of co-ops and similar democratic enterprises and to support those seeking to set up or develop new ventures.
Find out more about our vision, aims and structure HERE. 

Why Co-ops?
Co-ops especially, but also other forms of mutual benefit enterprises put their members, public interest and local communities ahead of profit maximisation. Their members, and not wealthy investors, decide the direction and priorities of the enterprise. Amidst today’s social and environmental crises, we need cooperation for the common good, not capitalist waste-making, to protect the planet and raise the quality of working life and the equitable distribution of incomes.

Cooperatives and Community Enterprise in the Bath Area
Large co-ops, such as the Co-op retail stores have been strong in the Bath area for many years. More recently a number of smaller democratic, community, enterprises have been formed. The most notable have been the renewable energy provider, Bath and West Community Energy, the Bell Inn music pub, Komedia the entertainment venue and Bath City Football Club, which reformed as a community-interest company providing share ownership and voice to its loyal supporters.
To see a list of local co-ops and community owned organisations go HERE.

BCA was formed to build on these achievements and publicise them as potential models for new mutuals, particularly fully fledged co-operatives.

Achievements So Far
We have:

  • Sponsored investigations into Community Land Trusts (CLTs)
  • Set up and run an educational and information website
  • Raised funds for use by new co-op initiatives
  • Supported promotional campaigns such as ‘We’re Shouting About Co-ops Together’ during Co-ops Fortnight in July/July 2022.
  • Organised public meetings, including one on Community Wealth Building with US democratic economy activist Ted Howard, attended by over 150 residents, business owners and councillors and one exploring the challenges and opportunities of building mutual businesses and a more cooperative local economy. For more details go HERE.

Can you help?
Now, with the severe effects of the interlinked economic and climate crisis starting to really bite, is the time for the co-operative economy model to come to the fore as a viable solution. We plan to continue promoting and supporting the development of co-ops and mutuals in the Bath Area and to organise more support for projects such as Community Land Trusts (CLTs).

But we will be unable to do this without adding keen and committed volunteers to our trustees group at our AGM in the Autumn.  No experience is necessary but if you, or your organisation can spare about a day a month and have any relevant skills, such as organising, IT, finance, communications or networking we would love to hear from you. For more information please CONTACT US.

If you are not already a member please consider joining us. Membership subscription of £2 per month is considerably less than a cup of coffee and regular contributions help to build up our common fund so that we can do much more. To become a member go HERE.

Think Global – Act Local: Democratise Business from Below