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A co-operative pub is where a significant part of a community comes together to form a co-operative to try and save and run their local.
Co-operative pubs are different because they encourage widespread community-ownership at a level the majority of the community can afford. Currently the majority of Co-operative Pubs are where the community has purchased the building, however if they feel it is appropriate, some communities may choose to take on a lease initially with a view to purchasing the property in the future.
Co-operative pubs are set up on a ‘one member one vote’ basis rather than a ‘one share one vote’ basis. This creates a democratic way of running a community business and ensures that everyone has a say in how they want their local pub to be run.
Like any business, a co-operative pub aims to be profitable - it is what happens with the profit that sets it apart from a private enterprise. A co-operative pub can distribute profits to the members, reinvest the profit in the business or distribute funds in the community for the benefit of the community.
Community-ownership is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. There are now around 300 co-operatively-owned village shops in the UK and the co-operative model has also been adopted by energy schemes, woodland projects broadband initiatives, housing schemes and much more. Co-operative ownership is a sustainable and ethical way of doing business. 97% of co-operatively-owned village stores opened over the past 25 years are still open and trading today.
Co-operative pubs are registered with the Financial Services Authority under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965.
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