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Clevedon Community Bookshop leads way in co-operative revival

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 29, 2012

Eilleen Potts, Angela Everitt and Kathy Jameson repairing old books in the Clevedon Community Bookshop

Eilleen Potts, Angela Everitt and Kathy Jameson repairing old books in the Clevedon Community Bookshop

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A bookshop saved from closure after 500 people joined a local co-operative to keep it open will be marking its first year as a community-owned enterprise this weekend.

The Clevedon Community Bookshop Co-operative in Somerset opened on New Year’s Eve a year ago after thousands of pounds were raised through a share issue.

Birthday celebrations will be held for members, customers and local residents to mark the milestone.

When an initial meeting in September 2011 sold 1,500 shares, Angela Everitt, secretary of the co-operative, said: “We were gobsmacked by the response. It’s been an incredible first year, far surpassing our original expectations with fantastic support from people near and far as well as from the 500 plus members of our co-operative.

The North Somerset shop is part of a resurgence in co-operative-led businesses and services across the country. Figures show a near 10 per cent increase in UK co-operative enterprises, rising from 5,450 in 2010 to almost 6,000 in 2011, with a combined UK membership up by 5.5 per cent to 13.5 million people.

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