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
- Fair work
- Food and Farming
- Platform Co-ops & Equal Tech
- Sport and leisure
- Worker Co-ops
At a time of increasing precarious work and recent expanse of the exploitative ‘gig economy’, worker co-operatives can provide sustainability, equality and equity to members providing fair work at a time when it is greatly needed. This year Co-op Fortnight, the annual UK celebration of co-operation, is celebrating the benefits and diversity of co-op membership […]
Sustainable, innovative and empowering; how Platform Co-ops and democratically owned tech can address the challenges and inequalities of the modern world
There is no doubt that the global pandemic has forced many to embrace the use of technology and digital resources to function and communicate effectively throughout the Covid-19 crisis. The co-operative movement however has been shouting from the roof tops about the benefits of democratically owned platform tech solutions long before the coronavirus was on […]
Climate change and the climate crisis is no new concept, it has been the subject of policy agenda and environmental activism for decades. Only more recently has it been treated with the urgency required as we are forced to examine and act upon the very real and catastrophic existential threat of climate breakdown. The co-operative […]
A unique music co-operative is developing new ways to bring musicians and audiences together while the venue it owns remains closed. The Globe in Newcastle upon Tyne was bought by Jazz.Coop in 2014 with investment from a community share issue and loans from Co-op Loan Fund and Co-operative & Community Finance. It is thought to […]
Much has changed in recent weeks but discerning drinkers have not lost their taste for the funky modern beer made by Boundary Brewing Cooperative in Belfast. The brewery closed when lockdown was introduced but started production again a few weeks later to meet the growing demand for its distinctive cans of craft beers. Head brewer […]
“This is what resilience looks like on the ground” said Kath Dalmeny, chief executive of Sustain speaking on BBC Radio 4 about the work Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency (GCDA) is doing in partnership with the local authority and a community trust to ensure that vulnerable people have enough to eat. GCDA has redeployed nearly half […]
At a time when many businesses have temporarily closed, an employee-owned company in south Wales has increased production to cope with a big rise in demand for its packaging services. In recent weeks PrimePac Solutions Ltd in Ebbw Vale has been inundated with orders to package sanitising and cleaning products. It has also bought a […]
A worker co-operative with a mission to build a new economy is preparing to open a residential training centre, with finance from Co-op Loan Fund. Stir to Action, which runs national workshop programmes, supports co-operative and community business development, and publishes a magazine, has secured the lease, on very favourable terms, for Selgars Mill near […]
Fairtrade Fortnight is bigger and better than ever this year. This annual promotional campaign is effective at both increasing product sales and building belief in the possibility of a better world. Co-operatives have played a major role in the development of Fairtrade across the world. In 1998, the Co-operative Group became the first UK major […]
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).