About this co-op

Preston Cooperative Education Centre or PCEC is the latest addition to the ranks of emerging cooperatives in the City and the first union co-op to be established in the UK.

The PCEC is part of wider efforts to create a cooperative ecosystem within Preston, inspired by the highly successful Mondragon model from the Basque Country.

It aims to support the creation of worker-owned cooperatives for Preston and the region.

The goal is to grow this cooperative into a substantial provider of cooperative education and worker education, and eventually to become part of the future federated Cooperative University project as part of a partnership with the Cooperative College.

It is supported by a range of trade unions and the North West TUC and will have a union committee as an important part of a governance structure that also includes student/ex-student and community voices.

An ambition is for the PCEC to eventually be a significant and inclusive community resource, helping to reach, support and connect diverse groups, workers and unemployed, people of all ages and community activists.

The approach to learning will be fully democratic, imaginative and creative.

They will be allied with other like-minded groups and organisations, for instance those involved in community and worker creative and performing arts.

Why are they doing this

“I really miss the days when we had community, trade union and community resource centres providing a vital hub for solidarity, support and education in our towns and cities. My hope for the PCEC is it can be the start of bringing this back, starting with the important job of providing education for workers, co-operators and community activists to bolster community wealth building in Preston. Under worker ownership and control the PCEC will belong to the community and act for it”, said Mick Mckeown, one of the founding members of PCEC. 

Who is involved

PCEC Founder Members:

Andy Birchall, Lynne Brooks, Julian Manley, Mick McKeown, Janet Newsham, Cilla Ross.

Where can you find PCEC