Ambitious communities to be ‘turned-on’ by £1m green energy support from The Co-operative

March 02, 2012

A £1m programme of support designed to change the nation’s relationship with energy is set to energise ambitious communities and leave a legacy for the next generation.

The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, which supports the creation and growth of sustainable member-owned enterprises, has set aside £1m to dramatically scale-up the number of community-owned renewable energy projects across the country.

Through its enterprise development, mentoring, technical advice and the underwriting of community share issues, The Co-operative Enterprise Hub can empower communities to set up their own energy schemes, enabling them to do more to tackle climate change

Michael Fairclough, Head of Community and Co-operative Investment at The Co-operative, said: “The investment is designed to support and encourage co-operatively owned renewable energy projects - providing the tools to create the next generation of sustainable community co-operatives that can control, generate and benefit from their own renewable energy.”

“Ambitious community-led projects can contribute to a step-change in people’s thinking about energy and, inspire others to take action - a catalyst for a clean energy revolution across the UK.”

The Co-operative Enterprise Hub is at the forefront of a resurgence in community-led solutions to the running of businesses and services. It represents a significant investment in the sector by The Co-operative which has pledged £6m, between 2012-14, to developing this free service which supports the creation and growth of member-owned enterprises across the UK.

For further information about setting up a co-operative and the free support, advice and guidance available to new and existing member-owned enterprises contact The Co-operative Enterprise Hub at www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub


Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over six million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, the leading convenience store operator and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank, Britannia and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider and Britain’s largest farming operation. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies almost 50 commitments in these areas.

The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 106,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at www.co-operative.coop

The Co-operative Enterprise Hub offers free advice, training and consultancy to new and existing co-operatives – supporting the creation and growth of sustainable member-owned enterprises across the UK. It represents a significant investment in the co-operative sector by The Co-operative Group, the UK’s largest mutual business. Available nationally, the service is delivered locally by a network of co-operative development specialists. Further information is available at www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub


Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Group Press Office
Tel: 0161 827 5622
Mob: 07702 505551
Email: andrew.torr@co-operative.coop