Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, visited Bristol Ferry Boats Friday 27 June to show his support for this year's Co-operatives Fortnight campaign (21 June to 5 July 2014).
Co-operatives Fortnight is the co-operative movement's annual awareness campaign, aiming to help people become more familiar with co-operatives in their local area and beyond.
Co-operative businesses aren't just the food stores, pharmacies and funeral care services that most people are used to seeing on the high street. The sector is truly diverse covering everything from bakeries to bicycle stores, childcare providers to cheese producers and farms to football clubs.
Bristol Ferry Boats is a fantastic example of a community owned co-operative that has successfully raised money via a community share offer to save a much loved local service.
Stephen Williams MP said:
"There are 15 million memberships of co-ops in the UK and this figure continues to grow. The potential for community enterprise offered by the co-operative model both nationally and here in Bristol cannot be overlooked. As profit is not their key motivation they can provide low cost services which other business do not, and reach people other businesses ignore.
"It's been a privilege to visit Bristol Ferry Boats. They are an inspirational example of how citizens have used the co-operative model to save and revitalise a much loved local business. People visiting Bristol are often surprised to see ferry boats in the heart of a city centre that they thought was well inland but Bristol Ferry Boats provide access to one of Bristol's greatest assets - its waterfront."
Philippa Bungard from Bristol Ferry Boats said:
"Co-operatives work to a unique business model, they are owned by their members, not shareholders, and give them a chance to have a say in how the business is run, as well as a share of the benefits.
"Co-operatives Fortnight is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the business model and also gives people the chance to discover other types of co-operatives."