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
Four years ago, workers’ co-op Wild Thyme opened a wholefood store, juice bar and vegan take away in Portsmouth, with finance from Co-op Loan Fund. The 1,200 sq ft premises has a good shop frontage on the main street leading from Southsea shopping centre to the sea front. Previously the business had been operating from […]
The fortunes of Dunbar Community Bakery have gone up and down and up again since it started trading in 2011. Dunbar is a small coastal town about 40 miles east of Edinburgh with a population of 8,500. Local people decided to set up the community bakery after the local 150-year-old high street bakery closed. They […]
Six years ago, Co-op Loan Fund, working with other organisations, helped the people of Denton West End in Greater Manchester to save their library by buying it from the local authority. We asked Ian Wilson, Chairman of Denton West End Community Library, what difference six years of community-ownership had made. “The main difference is that […]
An award-winning co-op that is credited with keeping children healthier and safer while helping to reduce car-dependency, accidents and air pollution is scaling up its operation with help from Co-op Loan Fund. Safe Kids Walking Ltd, which trades as Brightkidz, was set up in 2004 by concerned parents in Kettering, Northamptonshire, who were operating a […]
The only co-operative brewery in Northern Ireland, whose ‘funky modern beer’ is appreciated from Finland to Singapore to USA, is set for further expansion with support from Co-op Loan Fund.Production at Belfast-based Boundary Brewing Co-operative has increased rapidly since it started in 2015 as demand for its high quality craft beers has boomed. Last year […]
Work has started on the development of a 15-acre site on the edge of Sheffield as a community-owned market garden to supply the city with organic fruit and vegetables. Co-op Loan Fund has provided the multi-faceted Regather Co-operative with loan finance to expand its food production operation. Regather Co-operative provides a range of inter-related services […]
Blake House Cooperative is set for growth having just moved into new premises and taken out a loan from Co-op Loan Fund. The London-based film-makers have achieved a lot since incorporating in 2015. The worker co-operative, which at one time operated from cafes, libraries and living rooms, has recently moved from a small, temporary office […]
One of the UK’s longest established and most successful social enterprise development agencies is opening two new commercial kitchens and cafes in London, north and south of the Thames, that will provide training and business incubation, as well as good food and refreshments. Co-op Loan Fund and Big Issue Invest have provided Greenwich Co-operative Development […]
One of the UK’s more unusual new co-ops is getting ready to launch, with a little help from Co-op Loan Fund. The Security Professionals Support Co-operative (SPSC), based in Tyneside, aims to improve the working situations of all security personnel, from bouncers to bodyguards, by providing access to training, insurance, legal protection and accountancy. It […]
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 the funding societies and other co-operative organisations. 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 Conduct Authority (FCA) 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 an endowment
We would welcome endowments from any co-operative that want to support the work of the fund. Co-operatives that make endowments 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 an endowment please contact Ian Rothwell (firstname.lastname@example.org or 023 8023 1123).