Co-op Centre leads £1.3m programme of support

One of the longest running co-operative enterprise centres in the UK is continuing to provide specialist training and business support, thanks to the timely provision of funds by Co-operative & Community Finance.

Sustainable Enterprise Strategies (SES) in Sunderland is the lead partner in £1.3m programme of business support for North East England funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Delays in the arrival of funds had threatened the viability of the programme and so SES applied succesfully to Co-operative & Community Finance for a loan. “We were happy to help,” said Ian Rothwell of Co-operative & Community Finance.

SES is the most recent name of the organisation that has provided specialist co-operative development (among other services) to the people of Tyne & Wear since 1983. With a combination of values, vision and very hard work it has endured while many enterprise agencies have come and gone.

In addition to delivering business support, training and consultancy, SES also provides managed workspace at its centres in Sunderland and North Tyneside. The Co-operative Centre in Sunderland is a remarkable building constructed in 2011 from 40 reconditioned shipping containers fabricated into rooms of various sizes. Co-operative & Community Finance provided loan finance for the purchase of the containers.