Lothian, Borders & Angus Co-operative Society

Infobox Co-operative
company_name = Lothian, Borders & Angus Co-operative Society
company_type = Consumer co-operative
foundation = 1839 (or earlier)
location = Galashiels
key_people = I.F.B. Hewat, President [Cite web
publisher=Lothian Co-op
Bob Jamieson, Chief Executive [Cite web
publisher=Lothian Co-op
area_served = Scotland
members = Decrease65,074 (2008)Cite web
title=Financial Statement
quote=Year ended 26 January 2008
publisher=Lothian Co-op
industry = Retail
Post offices
Filling stations
products =
revenue =Increase£122 million (2008)
operating_income =Increase£4 million (2008)
net_income =Increase£3.5 million (2008)
num_employees =Increase1,234 (2008)Cite web
title=Directors' Report and Statement of Accounts Year ended 26 January 2008
publisher=Lothian Co-op
parent =
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.lothianco-op.co.uk www.lothianco-op.co.uk]
footnotes =

Lothian, Borders & Angus Co-operative Society Limited (Lothian Co-op), founded in 1839 in the Scottish Borders, is the oldest consumer co-operative in Scotland.It operates over 50 food stores in the south and east, as well as some other retail businesses, and funeral services.Lothian Co-op is owned by 65,000 consumer members on a one member one vote basis.

On the 19 August 2008, the Board of the Society agreed to propose the transfer for the Society's engagements to the much larger Co-operative Group.Cite web
title=Co-op Proposes Merger
publisher= Arbroath Herald
] The proposed transfer will be considered by Lothian Borders & Angus members at a series of meetings in the autumn and only with a majority of the membership in favour of the proposal will the transfer go ahead.


Lothian Co-op is the direct successor of nineteenth and early twentieth century consumer co-operatives in its trading area, the oldest being in the border towns of Galashiels and Hawick.The Galashiels co-operative was formed by a mill workers' association that was already operating along similar lines.The Hawick and Galashiels co-operatives were incorporated in 1839, five years before the Rochdale Pioneers shop opened in England.Therefore Lothian Co-op is probably the oldest continuously trading consumer co-operative in Scotland.Cite web
publisher=Lothian Co-op
] [Cite web
publisher=Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust
quote=In 1844 a group of twenty-eight men in Rochdale formed the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society.
] [Clydebank–1881 [http://www.theclydebankstory.com/image.php?inum=TCSM00016] ; Scotmid–1859 [http://www.scotmid.com/depts/aboutus/history.php] ]

Through 1991, the Galashiels co-operative expanded through mergers to serve the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway regions. In 1992, Border Regional Co-operative Society merged with East Lothian Co-operative Society (based in Tranent), becoming Lothian and Borders Co-operative Society. In 1998, it absorbed East Angus Co-operative Society of Arbroath, taking its current name and structure.Cite web
title=Mutuals Public Register, society number 2RS
publisher=Financial Services Authority
(as of 2008)]

In the early 21st century, growth continued through new construction and acquisitions from other grocers. New construction included a supermarket in Castle Douglas, and purchases included a former SPAR store in North Berwick, a filling station in Lauder, and, notably, nine convenience stores sold by Somerfield in 2006, Lothian Co-op's first operation in Aberdeenshire.


Lothian Co-op is a regional co-operative, formed by the gradual amalgamation of numerous local co-operatives.Operating 52 food stores in southern and eastern Scotland, as well as pharmacies, funeral services, post offices, petrol stations, and a furnishings store in Selkirk,it is the smaller of Scotland's two regional consumer co-operatives, the larger being Scotmid, and one of four altogether.Lothian Co-op is a member of The Co-operative Group, sourcing its food through a UK-wide buying programme called the Co-operative Retail Trading Group.Chief executive Bob Jamieson has served as a director of The Co-operative Group since 2005.Like most retail consumers' co-operatives in the UK, Lothian Co-op is incorporated as an Industrial and Provident Society, regulated by the Financial Services Authority. [Cite web
publisher=Lothian Co-op
] [As of 2008, smaller regional co-op in Scotland by number of shops (129 versus 52). Making up the four are Clydebank Co-operative Society and The Co-operative Group] [Cite web
title=Our board
publisher=The Co-operative Group

Ownership and governance

Lothian Co-op is owned by 65,000 consumer members, who have invested in equity shares, with share balances averaging £12 each, and earning 3% interest per year. As of 2008, it does not pay a patronage dividend to members, though each year around £90,000 of profits is distributed to local causes as “Community Dividend Grants”, and taxable profit is re-invested in the business. A voluntary president and board of directors are elected from among the members holding at least four shares, on a one member one vote basis; the board supervises the chief executive and management. Like many UK listed companies and co-operatives, the board has an audit sub-committee responsible for internal controls, following the 1999 Turnbull Report.


External links

* [http://www.lothianco-op.co.uk/public/history History at Lothian Co-op website] — including a family tree showing the foundations and mergers of all predecessor co-operatives
* [http://www.lothianco-op.co.uk/public/financial Annual reports and financial statements]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/south_of_scotland/5098486.stm Co-op unveils £5m store proposal] — construction in Castle Douglas, BBC News
* [http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articles/2000/03/30/278/co-op-travelcare-in-scottish-move.html Co-op Travelcare in Scottish move] (2000)

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