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How to make life better for local communities in the Lancaster district

People across the Lancaster district are invited to discover how local groups are making life better for communities in the city – and how people can join forces and form co-ops to boost their own neighbourhoods.

free webinar on 3 February will hear from local co-ops, including the Green Elephant Co-operative, which manages office and workspace at Halton Mill just outside Lancaster. It’s part of a cluster of co-operatives including a food co-op and a car club that are serving the community and making a positive difference to people’s lives.  

The webinar will explain how co-ops allow local communities to take control of the services and spaces that matter to them most. It is being delivered by The Hive in partnership with Lancaster City Council. The Hive is a business support initiative from national network body Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative Bank.   

The one-hour online session will introduce the co-op business model – and provide a launchpad for starting a community co-op business. It will be introduced by Daniel Clarke, Community Wealth Building Officer at Lancaster City Council, and delivered by Petra Morris, Co‑operatives UK’s Co-operative Development Manager, who’ll explain: 

  • How local people can form co‑ops to create solutions that meet their needs and enrich and revitalise their neighbourhoods. 
  • The important role co‑operatives can play in strengthening communities, creating wealth locally and enabling people to have greater control over what happens in their area.  
  • The benefits of the co‑op model for empowering people at grass roots level. 
  • How communities can come together to take control of local assets.  

Entitled How co-ops can empower communities, the webinar will signpost to the help and support available from Lancaster City Council and The Hive business support programme, including free resources and the chance to apply for tailored business support. 

Petra Morris, Co‑operatives UK’s Co-operative Development Manager, said: “Co‑ops are democratic businesses that allow local communities to take control of the services and spaces at the heart of their neighbourhoods. They play an important role in creating and retaining wealth locally. And they enable people to pool resources to trade goods and services that benefit the community.  

“We’re pleased to be teaming up with Lancaster City Council to give groups in the Lancaster district a chance to discover the power of co-ops – and to explain what support is available to them to start a co-operative.” 

Councillor Tim Hamilton-Cox, Lancaster City Council’s cabinet member for sustainable economic prosperity, said: “Lancaster City Council is committed to investing in its communities, promoting social enterprise and building community wealth. We’re partnering with The Hive from Co-operatives UK to give local groups access to the support and information they need to start community co-op businesses that can create wealth, improve lives and enrich neighbourhoods at grass roots level.”  

How co-ops can empower communities is taking place on Thursday 3 February 2022 at 1-2pm. For more information about the webinar and to book, go to www.uk.coop/thehive 

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