About

We are a small group of volunteers who have set up a cooperative so that we can raise awareness of cooperation and help local people to start their own cooperative businesses.

The group also has its separate interests in promoting coops, for example, food, energy, recycling, digital, social care and transport and individuals work with a range of community groups in these and other areas.

PCDN believes that a co-op is a business or organisation that’s owned and controlled by its members, to meet their shared needs.

The members can be its customers, employees, residents, or suppliers who will all have a say in how the co-op is run.

We use the CICOPA (International Organisation of Co-Operatives in Industry and Services) definition of a co-operative,

A cooperative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Cooperatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity.

Members of a cooperative share in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others.

PCDN has funding from The Open Society Foundation and grants from Preston City Council to help new groups start their own worker coops.

This fund  helps them to pay for things such as:

  • Working with our Consultants to develop their business plan. This business plan will set out who works in the business, what it is that the business will sell or produce, the marketing and sales ideas and financial forecasts. This helps to set out the group’s key goals and to spot any potential problems with their idea.
  • Paying the registration and legal costs of setting up a cooperative.
  • Setting up book keeping systems.

To access the money there are some essential things you need to think about. We can only support people who are:

  • Currently living or working in Preston or the surrounding area.
  • Have at least 3 or more people in the group who are interested in forming a coop.
  • Have some cooperative business idea that the groups can explore with us.
  • Interested in learning new skills.

 If your group is interested in forming a coop and would like to chat about this, please contact us on admin@prestoncoopdevelopment.org

Our Mission

To promote the development of cooperatives and other similar forms of enterprise in Preston and the surrounding areas.

We will do this through the provision of advice, consultancy and training; enabling and encouraging coops and similar forms of enterprise to work together.

Our Values

Self-help · Self-responsibility · Democracy · Equality · Equity · Solidarity.

Meet the Board

Gaynor Wood

Gaynor teaches university students and writes about enterprise, starting your own business, and business for sport scientists. She worked with Enterprise Educators UK in the development of enterprise education training for university and college staff in institutions across Nigeria and China.

Her main interest is cooperative enterprises including worker and housing cooperatives. Currently her business is working with Preston City Council to focus on providing sustainable and affordable co-housing for UCLAN alumni in the town centre.

Gareth Nash

Gareth is part of a small cooperative business saving local services like shops and pubs from closure.  He has helped raise several million pounds so that communities can create energy from wind and water turbines. He is also active in the Cooperative Party, where he finds new ways for local people to own the services they value.

Mick McKeown

A longstanding union activist, Mick is involved in the development of links between the trade union and cooperative movements. He co-authored the recent Manifesto for Decent Work from Union Co-ops UK. Mick leads on ideas to create cooperative opportunities in the care sector, and in the area of criminal justice (the employment of prisoners and ex-prisoners).

Freddie Bailey

Freddie is an elected City Councillor for Preston and the cabinet member for Community Wealth Building.

Julie Ridley

Julie lives in Preston and works part time at the University of Central Lancashire as a senior researcher in Social Work, Care and Community. She also co-directs the Centre for Citizenship and Community, and has engaged people from Preston’s communities on the ‘Connected Communities’ programme. She’s active in Climate Action Preston, the community association Broadgate and Hartington Community Connectors, and is on the leadership team for Preston Citizens developing the Preston chapter of Citizens UK.  Julie authored a chapter in the forthcoming book about the ‘Preston Model’ that looks at the links between community and co-operatives. 

Mark Porter

Mark taught Web Design & Development and Media Production at UCLAN.  His main areas of expertise are in user experience design and web development, focusing on overall customer experience and technical performance in e-commerce applications. Mark, with graduates from UCLAN , has recently started a new digital worker coop – The PDF.