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Community-Owned Pubs Have Increased by 63% Research Reveals

Research from Co-Operatives UK has revealed that the number of community-owned pubs has increased by 62.6% over the last five years.

Community pubs involve people coming together to form a new democratic business where ordinary people can own a stake and where the pub is run for the benefit of the local community.

New data reveals impressive growth in this area of the market, considering the backdrop of record pub closures in the wider industry.

Research also showed that credit unions grew revenues by 13.5% and added 40,000 new members in the last 12 months.

These not-for-profit financial institutions are owned and controlled by their customers, demonstrating the popularity of fairer and more equitable forms of finance during the cost of living crisis.

The study shows that the cost of living crisis is driving the growth of democratic businesses like co-operatives, mutuals, credit unions and building societies as communities look for fairer, more ethical finance options to help at a time of financial crisis.

The report is the first ever to measure the full size of the ‘Democratic Economy’ in the UK – meaning those businesses and organisations that give people genuine control and ownership.

It revealed that there are 9,113 such businesses in the UK with a combined annual income of £87.9 billion.

Rose Marley, CEO of Co-operatives UK, said: “As we enter the fourth industrial revolution, we really are coming full circle, with co-operation at the heart of economic growth. Everywhere in modern business, from AI to farming and culture to data, there are co-ops.

“This report demonstrates the resilience, growth and power of co-operation. Ahead of the political party conference season, I urge all parties to move away from business as usual and embrace those democratic business models that are giving people real power, control and a stake in the future.”