Join The Plunkett Foundation to learn more about the first steps to setting up a community co-operative.

We know that rural life in the UK isn’t always easy, with the decline of vital services, the limited availability of jobs, affordable housing, public transport, adequate broadband and the rising cost of utilities, can mean for many people, living in a rural area presents a daily challenge.

We also know that rural communities, with a little help, can address these challenges themselves and that the long-term solution is often achieved through enterprises that are owned by the community, for the benefit of the community – an approach that Plunkett calls community co-operatives.

If your community is experiencing similar issues, the Inspiring Rural Communities Together Conference is here to help you.

This conference is free of charge and open to anyone that lives in, or supports, a rural community in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and wants to save or start a community co-operative – from shops, pubs, woodlands, renewable energy schemes, transport services or anything else, or are simply looking for inspiration and advice.

By joining us at the Inspiring Rural Communities Together Conference, not only will we introduce you to the community co-operative model, why they work and what the first steps are to set one up, you’ll also meet and share ideas with other communities, organisations and people to gain new insights. Talks and workshops on the day will include:

  • How two thriving community co-operatives achieved their goals and the lessons they learnt along the way
  • How to build a strong foundation for your community co-operative – the essential elements from legal structures, business planning and funding
  • How your community can get involved and the importance of consultation

The event is taking place as part of the Rural Community Co-operatives project and is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. To find out more about the project please visit


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Please email Sarah at or call us on 01993 810730

I’d like to find out more but can’t make it on the day, what should I do?

If you’re unable to join us on the day, please do give us a call on 01993 810 730. Our friendly team are happy to talk through your idea and would love to hear from you, whatever stage you’re at. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can email us at

I don’t live in, or support, a rural community but I am interested in finding out more about community co-operatives. Can I still attend?

If you are interested in finding out more about setting up a community co-operative yet don’t fit the above criteria you are welcome to join us for the day at a charge of £25 per person to cover our costs.

Is there a deadline to book tickets?

Places for this event are limited and available on a first come, first served basis so please book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Who is this event for?

Everyone is welcome to attend however this event is ideal for:

  • People at the early stages of a community co-operative idea
  • Those looking to save or create a community asset such as a shop, pub, woodland or transport service
  • Groups interested in sourcing funded support to help further their community co-operative idea

Book here.