• Lead Member Oldham Council
  • Participating Members Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Oldham Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council, Wigan Council
  • Year 2021
  • Type Policy Labs

About the project

The following outline proposal builds from the work published by the Greater Manchester Co-operative Commission, published in January of 2020.

This Policy Lab will examine the following lines of enquiry:

1. Why are co-operatives different from other businesses?

2. What is the value of co-operatives and co-operative ways of working?

3. How can we go about fostering the right environment for co-operatives to thrive?

We will explore these lines of enquiry across the following dimensions:

• Place – district, neighbourhood and community

• Sector – with a focus on development of the foundational economy

• Time – taking action now to enable strategic development in the future

The Policy Lab would develop a process that others could follow to map, analyse and make recommendations around the three lines of enquiry and how to expand co-op activity into whichever of these sectors are most relevant for any geographic area. This would involve the identification of several case study co-operative businesses and initiatives through which to explore the development of a co-operative economy, which would include comparisons between sectors (for example; digital tech and creative arts) and learning from failure as well as success. The Policy Lab would be led by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and a Steering Group which would include Oldham, Rochdale and Wigan Councils (we would also invite other GM authorities to participate, including Salford and Tameside).