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Glasgow has been praised for its effective support for co-operatives

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04 Aug 17

Glasgow has been recognised by an EU programme "URBACT" promoting good practice for its effective support of co-operatives, including credit unions.

URBACT is the EU’s programme for tackling the challenges of urban development and implements projects in many areas including social inclusion, poverty and sustainable development.

Out of over 300 submissions and Glasgow was one of only 97 chosen, and one of only 6 in the UK. The programme singled out Glasgow for the support it has given the co-operative sector through its Co-operative Development Unit. In particular, it noted the work the Council has done with credit unions, including offering practical and financial assistance, and the Futures Savers Programme, a partnership between 14 Credit Unions and 42 high schools to ensure all students entering high school could benefit from a credit union account. Over the next year, Glasgow will be promoted at an EU level for its work in developing and implementing more co-operative ways of working and supporting the development of the co-operative and social enterprise sector.

Glasgow is well known for its thriving credit union sector – more than one in four residents of the city are a member of a credit union - and the city of home to a range of credit unions, from very large employer focused credit unions, to smaller community based credit unions. In 2011 the city played host to the World Credit Union Conference, which saw delegates from around 60 nations descend on Glasgow to celebrate the movement.

ABCUL’s Policy Officer for Scotland, Karen Hurst, said “Glasgow City Council has long been a big supporter of its credit unions, and this is reflected in the strong, thriving credit unions that Glasgow is home to. We hope that other cities will look at how this could be replicated as, with the right support, credit unions can make a huge difference  to people’s lives everywhere”

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