Advice on alternative ways of delivering public sector services is to be offered by the Co-operative Group, it has been announced.
The company said it had set up a joint venture with law firm Cobbetts and the Westminster Bridge consultancy to help people considering setting up an enterprise.
The move is part of the Co-operative Group’s ethical plan, launched earlier this year, to support the growth of co-operatives.
Chief executive Peter Marks said: “We have heard a great deal from all the mainstream political parties about the co-operative model delivering public sector services but up until now we’ve lacked a one-stop shop where people can get the advice and assistance necessary to turn great ideas into practical solutions.
“We know the co-operative model works. Indeed, we have been around since 1844 and in recent years we have enjoyed a renaissance which has seen us double sales, profits and membership.
“However, we have a purpose beyond profit, with a vision of creating a better society and we believe this new venture will enable us to help communities across the UK deliver important services in an alternative way.”