Following their inaugural meeting in February, the Greater Manchester’s Co-operative Commission has issued a rallying call to keep driving the movement forward and help build a stronger city-region where new co-ops and social enterprises can thrive.

The Commission wants to work with co-operatives to reduce inequality, improve education and employment and help the sector grow into other areas of the economy to make Greater Manchester the most co-operative region in the UK.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “Through the work of the Commission, we have an opportunity to do things differently and explore new and innovative ways to nurture, grow and work more closely with the co-operative sector so it plays a central role in making Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old.”

Chair of the Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network, Councillor Sharon Taylor OBE said: “The Co-operative Councils’ Innovation Network is delighted to be involved in this trailblazing Commission. 

“Greater Manchester is asking for a call to evidence with an ambition to reclaim the traditions of community action, community engagement and civic empowerment which can transform communities. The aim is to help deliver radical and innovative programmes that are designed, led and delivered in partnership with communities and therefore maximise the economic and social dividend they bring.  Our members are well-placed to provide such evidence.”

The Commission will sit as an independent panel, making policy recommendations to support the continued development of the co-operative sector in Greater Manchester, and to ensure that the city-region is drawing on the benefits that co-operatives can bring to the local economy.

It will focus on where co-operatives can support the delivery of the Greater Manchester Strategy exploring four opportunities for co-operative business and working, including:

  • Community-led housing
  • Digital Economy
  • Transport
  • Co-operative Business development

The Commission is calling for evidence of the benefits and best practice of businesses built for co-operative purpose and principles as well as the barriers and how they have overcome difficulties.

The consultation period is open until September 1st 2019.

Please click on this link for more info and to submit evidence.