Co-operatives have a long and illustrious history. The first co-op was a weavers society formed in 1769, the first co-op shop was opened by Robert Owen at New Lanark in 1810 and the number of cooperative societies has grown from that small beginning into one of the largest democratically managed grouping in the country.
A co-op, an Industrial Provident Society to give it its ‘Sunday’ name, is controlled by its members. Members each have one vote, they elect board members at the AGM, vote on resolutions including voting on profit distribution and can change the rules of the society.
Harlaw Hydro Limited is an Industrial Provident Society (IPS) setup for the benefit of the community, often called a Bencom. You can study the Harlaw Hydro Limited and inspect the FSA registration document.
Several case studies have been written on differnet aspects of our journey and these may be of interest to readers.