Co-operative membership surges to a 
five-year high

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A record 17.5million people are members of the UK’s co-operatives, an increase of 2.3m in the past five years, a report has revealed.

The sector’s 7,000 independent co-operative businesses are worth £34billion a year, and account for 223,000 jobs.

The increase stems from the rise in the number of people joining high street retailers and credit unions and new community-owned organisations across the country.

Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said: “The last five years have been tough for the economy as a whole, yet we have seen strong performance from the sector.”