Giant open air street gallery of Co-operation arrives in Bristol

August 07, 2012

Commerce and culture come together in an inspirational open air street gallery of photographs which has arrived in Bristol as part of a national tour to showcase the history, scale and impact of co-operation world-wide.

Made up of 24 images on three metre high installations, The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery tells how, against a backdrop of the poverty and harsh working conditions of the mid 19th Century, a movement was created which today has one billion members globally and has fundamentally changed the lives of people across the world.

The free street gallery exhibition is illuminated at night and on view in Broadmead West - outside “The Galleries” - from 6-28 August. It has been compiled by The Co-operative to mark the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives, 2012 - a year dedicated to highlighting the contribution of co-operatives to socio-economic development, particularly the impact on community cohesion, poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

Michael Fairclough Head of Community and Co-operative Investment at The Co-operative said: “People are once again seeing the benefits of co-operation as a means to address the unprecedented challenges facing our economy, society and environment – an alternative approach to enterprise that can build a more balanced and stable economy.

“The street gallery shows how everyday people are not only predisposed to co-operation, but are making it happen in communities the world over – from FC Barcelona to the Bristol Energy Co-operative.”

Jo Hawkins, city centre retail manager for destination Bristol, said: “We are delighted to host this free gallery which will be enjoyed by thousands of visitors to the city centre shopping area. The photographs are outstanding and highlight the achievements of co-operatives while providing additional interest for our shoppers.”

The UK is witnessing resurgence in community-led solutions to the running of business and services. Figures show a near ten per cent increase in co-operative enterprises - rising from 5,450 (in 2010) to approaching 6,000 (5,933) in 2011, with a combined UK membership up by 5.5 per cent to 13.5 million people.

Further information about The Co-operative Revolution Street Gallery is available by visiting

Additional Coverage:

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