The Co-operative Party believes that local ownership really matters. When owners are distant from the communities they operate in there can be a catastrophic impact on the health of a high street
but when local people have community ownership of places, spaces and institutions that are important to them it has a hugely powerful effect. They have a genuine say over the way in which they’re run and can leverage this ownership to generate wider economic and social impact for their communities.
Our high streets are spaces rich with the history of the local place; they act as important markers of civic pride and can drive or hinder wider social and economic regeneration but recently high streets have suffered huge decline with many empty retail shops dispersed with betting shops and fast-food outlets. If we are to build stable, sustainable high streets fit for the future this needs to change.
Community ownership can help ensure essential goods and services are delivered for and by communities. This can mean community ownership of shops, transport, pubs, leisure centres, gardens and more. Community businesses can take the form of co-operatives, community interest companies or community benefit societies.
The Co-op Party supports the growth of community business as a way of empowering communities across the UK for the long term, with community businesses helping to reshape and redesign town centres and high streets. This can be through the purchase of former shops, pubs, or major assets such as town halls – converting them into new spaces with community-led services – which maybe leisure or retail based
The Labour Party has taken this agenda forward as well, with Labour committing to establishing a Community Right to Buy – which would provide communities with first refusal of assets of community value. This would give communities 12 months to raise funds to purchase the asset – with help from the Community Ownership Fund.
Join us on Zoom to find out more. Speakers include