Giant open air street gallery exploring Co-operation set to arrive in Glasgow

March 11, 2013

Glasgow is set to host a giant open air street gallery of photographs as part of a national tour to illustrate the history, scope and impact of co-operation world-wide.

From football clubs to farming and pubs to performing arts, the free outdoor exhibition has been compiled by The Co-operative Group to celebrate the contribution of co-operatives to worldwide socio-economic development and, is set to arrive in the City later this month (12 March).

Illuminated at night, The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery consists of 24 images on three metre high installations and will be located on Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, until 7 April.

Images such as the Shieldhall site in Govan - which formed part of the former Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society (SCWS) and was, by 1914, occupied by 16 different factories producing clothing, footwear, confectionery plus, a printing works and pharmaceutical laboratory - illustrate the rise of co-operatives from the poverty and harsh working conditions of the mid 19th century.

The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery also includes images by Thomas Annan (1829-1887) the Scottish photographer noted for his work recording the housing conditions of the poor.

Ken Greenshields, The Co-operative’s Membership Officer for Glasgow and Lanarkshire, said: “The striking images and narrative bring to life how co-operatives grew from humble beginnings into a global movement with an estimated one billion members worldwide today.

“Co-operatives make a significant contribution to poverty reduction, community cohesion, employment generation and social integration and the Street Gallery illustrates how everyday people are not only predisposed to co-operation, but are making it happen in communities the world over.”

The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery was created to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives and has been seen by an estimated five million people.

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Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. 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 over 50 commitments in these areas. The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at

Contact Information:

Andrew Torr
The Co-operative Press Office
T: 07702 505551