Our Co-operatives contribute over thirty billion pounds to the UK and over one billion people across the world are now members. A major part of our national economy, in Wales alone they provide employment for thousands of people with a turnover approaching one billion pounds.
They can be seen throughout many of our familiar high street names; the Co-operative supermarket, agricultural co-operatives, co-operative housing providers, health and social care co-operatives, cooperative schools, retail co-operatives, credit unions, co-operatively run community energy projects, football supporters’ trusts.
This September saw the Co-operative movement celebrate 100 years of existence. The Centenary was celebrated at their conference in London where Ogmore Assembly Member Huw Irranca-Davies was one of the main speakers at the Wales Co-op Centre fringe event.
Long-time co-op member Huw Irranca-Davies AM stated: “Co-operatives, based on fairness and the common good are a major contribution to a stronger, fairer Wales and I am proud to be a member. From humble beginnings they have grown and consolidated to provide reliable, long term economic enterprises run by local people for local people. I was delighted to join in the 100 year birthday celebrations. It is not so long ago that the Bowrington Arcade in Maesteg – thought to be the oldest Co-op building in Wales also celebrated it’s 100 year birthday. Opened in 1910, the town’s biggest department store housed the Co-op for 74 years. This beautiful building continues to provide a home to thriving small business.”
The link provides a great insight into the co-operative movement and where it all began: https://www.co-operative.coop/about-us/history
Bowrington Arcade Maesteg