Template:Infobox Company Template:Distinguish Anglia Regional Co-operative Society Limited is the fifth largest consumer co-operative in the United Kingdom. It was formed by the merger of the Greater Peterborough Regional (formerly Peterborough and District) and Anglia (formerly Waveney) Co-operative Societies in 1987. The Society has a wide-ranging and extensive portfolio with over 100 stores, principally trading in East Anglia. Head Office is located at Westgate House, Peterborough.

Defined by the International Co-operative Alliance, “A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.”[1] The Society is a registered Industrial and Provident Society[2], a member of the Co-operative Union Ltd., the Co-operative Retail Trading Group and a corporate member of the Co-operative Group Ltd. (formerly Co-operative Wholesale Society), the largest consumer co-operative in the world.[3]


“The objects of the Society are to carry on the business of a store-keeper, general dealer and universal provider in all its branches, and in particular to buy, sell, manufacture, produce, grow, cultivate and deal in goods, stores, consumable articles, chattels and effects of all kinds, both wholesale and retail and generally to engage in any business, trade or industry which may seem to the Society directly or indirectly conducive to the interests or convenience of the Society's members or any section thereof.”[4] “The Society shall at all times conduct its business and affairs in accordance with the Rochdale Principles of Co-operation, as published from time to time by the International Co-operative Alliance, serving the needs of its customers, employees and the communities in which it trades.”[5]

In October 2008, an electronic commerce division was launched, selling furniture online.[6]

In November 2004 United Co-operatives Ltd., based in the North West of England, announced that department stores were no longer a core business, leading to the sale of seven stores, mostly inherited from the Yorkshire Co-operative Society, to the Anglia Society.[7] In October 2005 the Co-operative Group Ltd. announced its decision to exit the department store sector. In September 2006 a further seven stores, located in the South East of England, were transferred to the Anglia Society.[8][9] The Group subsequently merged with United in July 2007.


Co-operative societies are owned and controlled by their members on the principle of one member one vote, giving all members equal voting rights. The Anglia Society has operated on that basis since it was founded in 1876. Organisations can also become members of the Anglia Society. Each member shall be required to hold at least one share of £1, which must be paid in full on entering the Society.[10] The Society's Rules, which similar to the election of directors, are agreed by the membership, allow for a Board of ten directors, three of whom may be employees of the Society. The full Board meets monthly and sub-committees of the Board meet quarterly or less frequently.[11]

Dividend is simply a share of the profits made by the Society. The rate of dividend is recommended to members by the Board of Directors and voted upon at the Annual General Meeting. Members have an opportunity at the point of sale to donate their dividend to Share (account number) 600, the proceeds of which are presented each year to three or four charities which are agreed by the Board.[12] Dividend is paid annually and a warrant placed in the share account wallet on receipt.

The Co-operative Group relaunched its own membership scheme in 2006. In 2008, the Anglia Society joined the new scheme under a reciprocal arrangement. The Society will in future allocate dividend through the card scheme and members will also be able to accrue dividend at participating societies nationally. This will include food purchases, on which the Society had not previously paid dividend.[13]


The following trading companies are wholly owned by the parent Society:

  • Co-op Funeral Services (Anglia) Ltd., trading as Anglia Co-operative Funerals, incorporating R J Scholes, J H Landin & Son, George James & Son, Watkins & Stafford, Fishers, Dennis Easton, H E Bull & Son and M J Claypole funeral directors[14]
  • Westgate Properties (Anglia) Ltd.[15]
  • Yaxley Farm Ltd.[16]
  • Elite Electrical Ltd.[17]
  • Westgate Optical Ltd., property management[15]
  • Rainbow Stores Ltd. (adjacent petrol stations franchised by Shell)[18]
  • Westgate Department Stores Ltd., incorporating Oasis Restaurants and Stylistics Hair and Beauty Salon[19]
  • Anglia (Home Furnishings) Ltd.[20]
  • Contact Electrical Superstores Ltd., incorporating Comfortmaker Textile Superstore, Abingdon, Oxfordshire[21]
  • Anglia Motor Group Ltd.[22]
  • Anglia Wholesale Furniture Distribution Ltd.[23]
  • ARCS Internet Ltd., internet development consultancy[24]

Although managed by the Society, the in-house travel agents are operated under the national Co-operative Travel brand. The Co-operative Travel is a member of the Co-operative Travel Trading Group. From August 2008, Rainbow supermarkets and Co-op Local stores began re-branding as The Co-operative Food (whilst remaining part of the Anglia Society).

Pharmacies in the Society's trading area are owned by National Co-operative Chemists Ltd.,[25] a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Co-operative Group, trading as The Co-operative Pharmacy. The business and assets of the former Anglia Dairies Ltd. were transferred to Dairy Crest Group Plc in 1997 for an aggregate consideration of £4.5m.[26]


Template:Expand-section The society was founded in Peterborough in 1876.[27] It later absorbed the Oundle (est.1866), St. Neots (est.1882), Huntingdon (est.1866), Wisbech (est.1886), King's Lynn (est.1888), St. Ives (est.1889) and Chatteris (est.1900) societies.[27]

The Waveney Society, which merged with the Peterborough Society in 1987, had earlier absorbed the Beccles (est.1879), Diss (est.1898) and Lowestoft (est.1890) societies.[27]


  1. Statement on the Co-operative Identity (Definition) International Co-operative Alliance, Manchester, 1995
  2. Registered in England and Wales under the Companies Act 1985, No. 8644R
  3. Section VII Administration (70) Rules of the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, 10 February 2005
  4. Section I Interpretation (4) Rules of the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, 10 February 2005
  5. Part of an amendment of the rules acknowledged by the Financial Services Authority on 30 January 2002
  6. Anglia Co-op launches online furniture shop Retail Week, 29 October 2008
  7. Interim Director's Report 2005 Other trading activities United Co-operatives, 23 July 2005
  8. Annual Report and Accounts 2006 Property, production and other trading The Co-operative Group, 11 April 2007
  9. Usdaw welcomes sale of Co-op department stores to Anglia Co-operative Society Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, 13 January 2006
  10. Section IV Capital (17) Rules of the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, 10 February 2005
  11. Section VI Directors (36a) Rules of the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, 10 February 2005
  12. Section VIII Application of Profits (82) Rules of the Anglia Regional Co-operative Society, 10 February 2005
  13. The Co-operative Membership Anglia Regional Co-operative Society (retrieved 16 October 2008)
  14. Registered in England and Wales No. 13027R. A member of the National Association of Funeral Directors
  15. 15.0 15.1 Registered with the Financial Services Authority under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965
  16. Registered in England and Wales No. 2553217
  17. Registered in England and Wales No. 407850
  18. Registered in England and Wales No. 2633489
  19. Registered in England and Wales No. 2633491
  20. Registered in England and Wales No. 1513710
  21. Registered in England and Wales No. 2801934
  22. Registered in England and Wales No. 2633486. AMG up for sale after 'escalating losses' Motor Trader, 27 November 2000
  23. Registered in England and Wales No. 3010171
  24. Registered in England and Wales No. 1513710
  25. Registered in England and Wales No. 12714R. Brook House, Oldham Road, Middleton, Manchester M24 1HF
  26. Annual Report and Accounts 1998 Notes to the financial statements (26) Dairy Crest Group, 01 June 1998
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Anglia Society: A Potted History Anglia Regional Co-operative Society (retrieved 15 July 2007)

See alsoEdit

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Template:UK consumer co-ops

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