Co-op Loan Fund has lent a cumulative total of £5m in nearly 200 loans since it started in 2002. This landmark figure was reached with a loan to PrimePac Solutions, an employee-owned business in south Wales that has increased production to meet a huge increase in demand for sanitising and cleaning products.
Co-op Loan Fund is a unique fund set up to provide supportive finance exclusively to democratically controlled enterprises, especially co-ops and community benefit societies. It is funded and run by co-ops with the specific aim of helping other co-ops.
It is managed by a voluntary board that includes representatives from the Co-op Group, Co-op Midcounties, East of England Co-operative Society, Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society, Co-operatives UK and the Wales Co-operative Centre. The Fund employs no staff. The day-to-day management and service delivery is provided by Co-operative & Community Finance on a contract basis.
Co-op Loan Fund made a small operating surplus in 2019 which was reinvested into the fund.
Ian Rothwell, Investment Manager at Co-operative & Community Finance, said: “Co-op Loan Fund is a practical example of the principle of co-operation among co-operatives. And it works. From a modest start 18 years ago the money has been recycled again and again helping many co-ops that would find it difficult to access loan finance from other sources.”