Manchester Metropolitan University

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Cooperative City: The Festival of Co-operative Voices

Date: Saturday 17th June, 1-4pm

Location: Rochdale Pioneers Museum, 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale, OL12 0NU and St Mary in the Baum Church.

On Saturday 17th June, Manchester Metropolitan University’s Co-operative Network, the Co-operative College and the Rochdale Pioneers Museum are hosting ‘The Festival of Rochdale Voices’, a FREE event in a celebration of all that is Rochdale!

The event will showcase talent and community spirit, with local performers including Skylight Circus, Rochdale Rock Choir, Oakenhoof Cloggers, dance and spoken word acts. We also have free children’s crafts activities, henna and face painting for younger visitors and a free brew and cake for those who want to sit down and share memories for Rochdale.

Part of the festival is the ‘Co-operative Voices’ research project, where visitors will be asked about their experiences of living and working in Rochdale. This research stems from discussions within the Co-operative Research Network at MMU, which brings together academics from across the university with partners from the Co-operative College, Rochdale Pioneers Museum and Co-operatives UK. As the birthplace of the modern co-operative movement, Rochdale was deemed an ideal location for this research. Rochdale recently made headlines as the city most on a downward trend in the Joseph Roundtree Foundation’s ‘Uneven growth: tackling city decline’; whilst local councillors sought to correct this evaluation suggesting the data was out of date, it is unclear what the people of Rochdale actually feel about their town. 

The ‘Co-operative Voices’ research aims to focus on the positive, giving a voice to local people and gathering responses around public needs and interests that can feed into future research. Saturday 17th June is the first day of the National Co-operatives fortnight and this event is planned as a celebration of co-operative activities. It offers an opportunity to capture voices (in various forms) that share how co-operation can benefit individuals and the wider society.

The Network will consider the range and scope of responses, and what is excluded, to get a sense of the most pressing issues in the town and form a pilot study for future events and longitudinal research in the town and inform future collaborative research proposals.

We hope to see you there!

Co-operative Network at MMU: Prof. Jim Aulich (Manchester School of Art), Dr Michael Bull (Business School), Dr Geoff Bright (Education), Dr Keith Crome (History), Prof. Steve Dixon (Manchester School of Art), Dr Linda Hammersley-Fletcher (Education), Prof. Joanna Hodge (Philosophy), Dr Olga Kuznetsova (Business School), Prof. John Schostak (formerly Education), Dr Alison Slater (Manchester School of Art), Prof. Melanie Tebbutt (History),

Partners from the Co-operative College/Rochdale Pioneers Museum/Co-Operatives UK: Dr Sarah Alldred, John Atherton, Dr Amanda Benson, Jordan Diggle, Rebecca Harvey, Clare Hirst, Gillian Lonergan, Elena Rowe, Dr Cilla Ross, Sophie Stewart.

Event contact Alison Slater · A.Slater@mmu.ac.uk