Our story

The original startup

The Federation now stands only 300m from Angel Meadows, which was the site of one of Arkwright's mills. These steam powered cotton mills helped to spark the Industrial Revolution.

In those days conditions for working people were very poor. Low wages, air pollution and lack of quality food were all major problems.

In nearby Rochdale a group of artisans and small businesses decided to make change. They founded a co-operative society based on democratic values, selling quality food at fair prices.

This is what a social startup looked like 175 years ago.

Revitalising Federation House

Fast forward to 2016. The organisation that grew out of that early startup, Co-op, invested in creating a new space in Manchester.

Federation House, a 100 year old warehouse in the city centre became a place for the next generation of Rochdale Pioneers to work and grow.

Co-op uses this space to share and learn skills from the community and find opportunities for partnerships.

Designed and built in 1914, today this elegant redbrick is once again housing movements for openness and change.

Space for co-operation

We’re now a community of many different organisations. Large and small, public and private sector, co-operatives and social enterprises. Working across 8 floors of this historic building.

We support each other in work that solves the social problems of the latest industrial revolution.

We have had lots of success stories including:

  • receiving funding from Luminate to provide free desk space.
  • seeing Northcoders win Business of the Year at the 2018 Chamber Business Awards.
  • Hive, InnovateHer and Digital Advantage collaborating to create a unique educational programme for 12-13 year olds.

See more about our community