Co-operative Business Development Support launched for Worcestershire

Community First are pleased to announce the launch of a new Co-operative Development Support Programme for Worcestershire in partnership with The Hive, delivered by Co-operatives UK and funded by the Co-operative Bank.

Those looking to set up a co-operative business, or from an existing co-operative with ambitions to grow, could benefit from up to 12 days bespoke support, training and mentoring. The programme may be of particular interest to SMEs or Farms undertaking succession planning or converting to a co-operative or mutual business model. More information can be found on the website here.

Recent examples of this include the audio visual retail group Richer Sounds which can be found here.

Community First is the delivery partner for The Hive in Worcestershire and can support businesses and organisations in making applications. There are free workshops in November that businesses can attend to find out if the co-operative model is right for them, more information on whether the model is right is available on their website.

Nick Comley, Business Development Manager at Community First says: “In a post-Brexit world, self-help, mutual ownership and control of businesses will become ever more important as business continuity and succession planning becomes more critical. The co-operative business model helps to manage risk, raise investment, increase productivity and improve recruitment and retention. Many small and family businesses and farms in rural areas like Worcestershire could benefit from a co-operative or mutual approach to co-production, trading or marketing, either as a single co-operative or a secondary co-operative.”

To apply to The Hive and to find out more about the support available, in the first instance, download the guidelines and supporting documents on the link here or call 01684 312747 or email