Greater Manchester Co-operative Commission - Call for Evidence

Closes 1 Sep 2019

Opened 11 Mar 2019

Feedback expected 29 Nov 2019


The Greater Manchester Co-operative Commission has been established by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) in order to be a driver for the development of co-operative activity across the city-region, to explore whether co-operative ideas can help to solve existing problems, encourage greater collaboration within the co-operative sector and contribute to the achievement of the ambitions of the Greater Manchester Strategy - to make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old - and to be one of the most co-operative places in the UK.

Co-operatives are businesses that meet the needs and aspirations of their members, who work in, trade with, or otherwise participate in  the business, and which contribute more broadly to the common good. Co-operatives are owned and controlled by their members. This includes customer, worker and producer co-operatives, as well as many community businesses and social enterprises. 160,000 people in Greater Manchester are members of a co-operative; collectively providing a turnover to the local economy of over £73million. This activity covers many sectors of business and includes credit unions providing financial services to communities, ten housing co-operatives, a social housing provider, leisure companies, and retail - including the modern home of the Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest consumer owned business.

The Commission will focus on four identified opportunities to develop the co-operative model across Greater Manchester.  These opportunities are:

  • Housing
  • Digital Economy
  • Transport
  • Co-operative business development

The Commissioners sit as an independent panel, and will make policy recommendations to ensure that the GMCA is drawing on the benefits that co-operatives can bring to our city-region. It will examine:

  • The existing evidence of particular opportunities outlined below, to develop a more co-operative Greater Manchester, drawing on proven models and promising innovations in the global co-operative economy
  • How Greater Manchester can build from current and recent innovations in the sector, and the business advice and support available to enable this sector to grow for the benefit of businesses, workers and communities
  • How Greater Manchester can help to meet and overcome the challenges and  barriers that co-operatives and the wider sector faces


Why We Are Consulting

There is a strong history of co-operative business in Greater Manchester and the Commission is keen to hear from those involved in running, setting up or trying to set up co-operatives so we can learn from your experiences and expertise. 

We are particularly keen to discover examples of success, innovation and growth potential, and enablers to success, as well as lessons learnt, and the barriers and pitfalls to avoid.

Call for Evidence


  • Businesses
  • Community, voluntary sector and social enterprises
  • Academics
  • Public sector partners


  • Co-operatives