Funding for network of co-operative start-ups in Preston to be finalised

The Larder is a cafe which has recently opened in Preston which is a co-operative celebrated by the city council
The Larder is a cafe which has recently opened in Preston which is a co-operative celebrated by the city council
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A grant to fund a network of co-operative start-ups in Preston is being settled.

Securing the money is part of ambitious plans to transform the city’s socio-economic status.

If the support from Open Society Foundations is clinched, the cash will help fund the Preston Co-operative Development Network.

Leaders in the city want to dedicate the funds to providing seed-funding to a range of worker co-operatives, including a co-op education centre.

The money will also go towards monitoring, research and evaluation by The University of Central Lancashire, building the capacity of the co-op network and consultancy and training services.

Leader of Preston City Council, coun Matthew Brown said: “I am proud of what we have already been able to achieve in and for Preston through the Preston Model, making a significant impact through our purchasing decisions. This funding will enable us to take a bold next step towards creating an improved, more democratic local economy.”

David Bright, from the Open Society Foundations, said: “Worker owned businesses have proven more resilient than other business models, whilst established businesses provide workers with better terms and conditions, which in turn drives improved productivity.”

In parallel, other work that is being developed as part of the Preston Model, is the co-operative bank for Lancashire, Merseyside and Cumbria.