Unique lending: to co-ops, from co-ops.
Setting up a new enterprise? Moving premises?
Buying new equipment? Expanding membership?
We welcome applications from new and existing co-ops based in the UK.
- Unique understanding of co-operatives
- Unsecured loans with no personal guarantees
- No set lending terms (flexible between 1-20 years)
- Loans between £10,000 and £85,000
- Interest charged on reducing balance
- Ongoing support throughout the term of the loan
Who We’ve Helped
(sort by category)
- Care and Wellbeing
- Co-op Loan Fund
- Community Ownership
- Employee Ownership
- Food and Farming
- Sport and leisure
- Worker Co-ops
Three years after the employees bought the business, there is plenty of work at one of the last traditional foundries in Scotland. Co-op Loan Fund is helping it adapt to the challenges of growth. Specialised Castings in Denny, near Falkirk, is one of just two iron foundries left in central Scotland, which was once the […]
A co-operative that brings together freelances, small businesses and community organisations is about to transform a five-floor building in the independent fringe of the centre of Bradford. The building at 14 North Parade, which has been empty for over a year, will include studio, office and meeting space for co-working, and a café with commercial […]
Co-operatives are known for being innovative and Co-op Loan Fund’s latest borrower is certainly that. It is also very unusual. Hempen, based near Reading, is the leading grower and producer of organic hemp CBD (cannabidiol) products in the UK. The worker co-op, which has six members and six volunteers, has been developing since 2015 By […]
A consultancy co-operative with offices in Newcastle and Glasgow has extended its reach across the UK with help from Co-op Loan Fund. Centrifuge Consulting provides a range of social and economic consultancy mostly to local authorities and other public sector organisations. Its work includes developing business cases, securing funding, designing and delivering policies and projects, […]
Software development company Co-operative Web is an excellent example of how supportive finance from Co-op Loan Fund can help with business growth. The Birmingham-based workers’ co-operative builds systems, web applications and content-managed solutions across a range of technical platforms. It works with many different types of business from small social enterprises to large multi-nationals. Its […]
An Essex farm that is one of the leading practitioners of biodynamic farming and conservation has secured its long-term future by becoming a charitable community benefit society. The new community-owned venture is being helped by a loan from the Co-operative Loan Fund as part of the Just Growth programme. Lauriston Farm is located on the […]
A community benefit society that saved the pub in an Essex village last year has bought a second property that it will convert into a restaurant and affordable rented accommodation. On 19 September Great Oakley Community Hub Ltd completed the purchase of the property known as the Red House which stands next to the Maybush […]
A village pub in Derbyshire has re-opened after two years of closure, with new facilities and new owners – the local community. The Spotted Cow is now owned by a community benefit society with 225 members from the village of Holbrook and the surrounding area. They raised over £170,000 to finance the purchase, and The […]
A wholefood shop and online retail co-operative business in Leicester is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the purchase of a new van, partly financed by the Co-operative Loan Fund. Leicester Wholefoods operates from the same 4,600 sq ft warehouse on the outskirts of the city where it started trading in 1987. The majority of its […]
We’re making the UK’s co-operative sector stronger by providing ethical, accessible loan finance.
Sympathetic to your co-op’s needs
We lend money exclusively to co-operatives. Our approach to lending is ethical, accessible and sympathetic to your co-op’s needs. Co-op Loan Fund is entirely funded and run by co-ops, so unlike many conventional lenders we truly understand and actively support democratically owned and controlled enterprises. We reinvest any surpluses into the fund to continue this support.
Loan applications are welcome from new and existing co-operatives based in the UK that need between £10,000 – £85,000 of loan finance to:
• Set up as a new co-operative
• Expand their size and scope
• Assist an employee buyout or company succession
• Purchase a property or business
• Purchase capital equipment or create working capital
Loans are only available to economically viable co-operatives registered in the UK.
Co-op Loan Fund is able to make unsecured loans, but will take security if available. We do not take personal guarantees on loans.
There is no set lending term, as far as is possible loans will be tailored to the business and the capacity to make repayments. The maximum term is usually 10 years.
Co-op Loan Fund is able to make loans that are flexibly tailored to meet your requirements. Lending by Co-op Loan Fund will be at or near market terms.
Co-operation among co-operatives
Co-op Loan Fund was set up to strengthen the size and scope of the co-operative sector through the provision of ethical, accessible loan finance. It is funded and run by co-operatives with the specific aim of helping other co-operatives – a practical example of the principle of co-operation among co-operatives.
Structure, governance and management
Co-op Loan Fund is a company limited by guarantee. It is overseen by a board of directors who represent each of the funders. Board meetings are usually held four times a year.
The day-to-day management of Co-op Loan Fund is conducted by Co-operative & Community Finance, an independent organisation that is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) in the conduct of investment business.
Co-operative & Community Finance has been providing loan finance for co-operatives, employee-owned businesses and social enterprises since 1973.
Making a donation
We would welcome donations from any co-operative that want to support the work of the fund. Co-operatives that make donations of over £50,000 may appoint a representative to the board if they wish. Co-operatives making small donations will also benefit from publicity.
If you wish to discuss making a donation please contact Ian Rothwell (email@example.com or 023 8023 1123).