Can co-ops save a city? The Preston Story (Sydney)

6 December 2019

Level 10, 28 Margaret Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia

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A Co-operative Blueprint for Local Economic and Social Regeneration


Preston is a city and locality in the UK that has become an exemplar in developing new local strategies for economic and social regeneration famous. It is also one of the UK’s most economically deprived regions.

Through radically reforming how its anchor institutions procure services, and the active promotion of local businesses – especially co-operatives – the City has engineered a major revival of local business activity.

Eminent UK based co-operative historian, Tony Webster, will deliver seminars about the Preston Model as part of his visit for the International Co-operative Alliance Research Conference hosted by University of Newcastle. We are fortunate to have someone close to the Preston experience to share his insights.

The Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index 2018 named Preston as the UK’s most improved city for economic wellbeing.

  • Reduction in unemployment rate (6.5% in 2014 to 3.1% in 2017)
  • Rising skills amongst 16-24 year olds
  • In 2014 only 4% of services were procured in the city, the figure is now 18% and rising.
  • And the impact is being felt regionally with services procured from the wider county of Lancashire rising from 30% to 70%.

Don’t miss this opportunity to find out why local authorities in the UK are seeking to emulate the Preston blueprint as a unique strategy for local economic and social revival, and what insights this model can offer the communities and economic development stakeholders.

A light lunch will be provided.

Event Details

Date:        Friday 6 December

Time:        12.30pm – 2.30pm AEST

Venue:    StateCover Mutual Boardroom, Level 10, 28 Margaret Street, Sydney 2000

RSVP:        Register online

Sponsored by:

About Tony Webster

Tony WebsterTony is Professor in history at Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK. He is a business historian who has published widely on Asia and the co-operative movement. With Professor John Wilson (Director of the Newcastle University Business School, UK) and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh (the Co-operative College) he wrote Building Co-operation: A Business History of the Co-operative Group 1863-2013 (Oxford University Press 2013). The book formed the principal historical source used for the Kelly and Myners Reports into the problems of the Co-operative Bank and the governance of the UK Co-operative Group (2014), and Tony has presented his research at a Bank of England Seminar (2015). The project was supported by the British co-operative movement, with which Tony retains close links.

He is a former Governor of the Co-operative College in Manchester and Chairs the Heritage Advisory Committee of the National Co-operative Archive. His latest book Co-operation & Globalisation, was published by Routledge earlier this year.


6 December 2019


StateCover Mutual Boardroom
Level 10, 28 Margaret Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia


BCCM and StateCover


By Audience
Leadership, Employees

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