The Trust’s Sponsor

The Trust’s Sponsor

The Co-op dates back to 1844 and is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives, owned by millions of members. It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer with more than 2,500 local, convenience and medium-sized stores.

It is also:

  • the UK’s number 1 funeral services provider
  • a major general insurer
  • a growing legal services business

As well as having clear financial and operational objectives and employing nearly 70,000 people, it is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

So, the more successful the Co-op is, the more it can give back to you and your local community.

Education was one of the Co-op’s founding principles. The Rochdale pioneers as they became known were also committed to developing educational opportunities. From 1850 to 1855 a school for young people was established and more advanced classes were offered to adults and workers in Rochdale.

The development of education in co-operatives has continued ever since and it was in 2010 that the Co-op first got involved in the government’s flagship academies programme.

Since then, the Co-op Academies have grown and the relationship with the Co-op has got ever closer. In 2018 it was announced that the Co-op would ‘turbo charge’ its academies programme by investing £3.6m into the growth of the Trust.