Existing members2018-10-19T13:58:56+00:00

Existing Members

Community Co-operative Membership

We’ve been the voice of rural community co-operation since 1919, and we know that establishing and running a community business can bring a range of benefits, but can also bring challenges. This is why we’ve established our bespoke membership package for community businesses called the Plunkett Community Co-operative Network. Becoming a member gives you greater access to information and advice, it enables you to collaborate in the market place for better deal, ait helps you to reduce running costs. We also actively encourage our members to help us develop our services to make sure we’re continuing to meet the needs of the sector.

Thanks to our experience we’ve been able to negotiate a wide range of goods and services at preferential terms and rates with suppliers, allowing our members to save valuable time and money. This page provides information about those suppliers, and how to find out more about the products and/or services they offer. We’ve provided their contact details so that you can get in touch with them before deciding whether or not to become a member, to make sure you’re getting the best deal for your community.

Joining the Plunkett Community Co-operative Network costs just £20 per month, or £240 per year (including VAT). If you’d like to talk to us about membership, please give us a call on 01993 810730 or email membership@plunkett.co.uk.

Plunkett Foundation Benefits

As a member of Plunkett Foundation:

  • You will receive an invitation to attend the Annual General Meeting sent to you each year you continue to be a member.
  • You can also book a free Health Check for your community co-operative, which will be carried out by one of our specialist team.
  • If your community co-operative has an Industrial and Provident Society legal structure and Plunkett Foundation (or Virsa) was your sponsoring body, you can update your Model Rules for free to the new rules which are more up to date, legally compliant, and enable you to raise further funding through community (withdrawable) shares. More about this benefit is provided later in this document.

  • Plunkett Foundation holds regular events for community co-operatives, which will be discounted for all of our members.

  • You will receive one year’s free membership to the British Institute of Innkeeping (for pub groups)

Community Co-operative Members


Community co-operatives are subject to a wide range of financial rules and regulations and it can be difficult keeping track of them all. As a member we can give you the help and reassurance you need to make sure your community co-operative meets these requirements to a satisfactory level. David Cadwallader and Co Ltd is our recommended firm of accountants and is able to offer a wide range of benefits, including:

Year-end compliance

Plunkett members are offered a substantial saving on their annual year-end compliance, which typically costs in the region of £600-£1,200.

The rates are as follows:

  • From £375 plus VAT: a review of accounts and provision of an Independent Accountant’s Report for Community Benefit Societies, Co-operative Societies and Registered Societies (IPS pre-August 2014).
  • From £675 plus VAT: preparation of accounts for Companies Limited by Guarantee and Community Interest Companies.

To access this offer members are required to provide a trial balance, reconciled bank account and supporting schedules for all major balance sheet and profit and loss account items. Community Benefit Societies, Registered Societies and Co-operative Societies are also required to provide a set of management accounts.


Members are offered discounts on accountancy software, as well as help and advice, including:

  • Free initial phone call to discuss the most suitable accountancy software for new community co-operatives
  • Purchase of Sage Instant for £75 plus VAT (RRP £120 plus VAT)
  • 20% discount off usual David Cadwallader and Co Ltd fees for additional IT services
  • Free review of accounting system and review for trading community co-operatives
  • Discount on Xero monthly cost
  • Choice between online ‘cloud based’ package or desktop software
  • A dedicated email support line for all members to contact David Cadwallader and Co Ltd with their software concerns or queries.


Assistance on setting up PAYE schemes for new community co-operatives as well as information on technical updates on changes to the regulatory environment are offered to members. An email support line will also be made available to receive advice on payroll concerns or queries.

  • 20% discount to members on standard fees for additional payroll support
  • Discount on Sage payroll software


The VAT and software services divisions of David Cadwallader and Co Ltd will work together to ensure that an individual community co-operative’s system for recording VAT is robust and adheres to all HM Revenue and Customs scrutiny.

David Cadwallader and Co Ltd can provide both technical literature and email support to members in all areas of VAT.

To access this deal:

Please contact Nicola Cadwallader directly on nicola@cadwalladerandco.com or 01869 222124.

Assured Advice Scheme

Plunkett community shop members are registered with ACS’s assured advice scheme and have access to their guides that provide accredited standards for in-store procedures, such as health and safety or underage sales. By accessing the ACS Assured Advice scheme and following their guidelines, the procedures in your shop will be respected by all local enforcement officers including Environmental Health and Trading Standards Officers. Our members can find out more about the Assured Advice Scheme here – https://www.acs.org.uk/assured-advice/.

The Association of Convenience Stores are one of Plunkett’s latest Supporter Members. ACS represent a network of over 35,000 local shops and they support their members through effective lobbying, comprehensive advice and innovative networking opportunities. Plunkett and ACS are aligned in their values in supporting rural retailers and this is an exciting collaboration between our two organisations that significantly enhances the level of support available to Plunkett’s network of member community shops.

How can you access the Assured Advice Scheme information?

You can also access advice on the website www.acs.org.uk/advice and you can contact julie.byers@acs.org.uk or call the ACS office on 01252 515001 with specific queries on the Assured Advice Scheme. If you would like to receive further ACS information by email, this will be available on an opt in basis. Again, you can opt out of the scheme at any time by emailing membership@plunkett.co.uk

Business Cover

The Retail Mutual specialises in providing business cover to community shops and pubs. We take a collective, member-owned approach to protecting your business, offering a popular alternative to conventional insurance. Unlike buying a traditional insurance policy, when you join The Retail Mutual your contribution is pooled in a central pot which is used to cover the cost of Members’ claims in their time of need. We have no shareholders or dividends to pay, and any surplus is used for the continued benefit of the Membership.

10% off Shop Cover for Plunkett Foundation members

As official supporters of the Plunkett Foundation, we are delighted to offer all Foundation members a 10% discount on your community business cover when you join the Mutual, with continued discounted rates each time you renew.

The Retail Mutual benefits

  • 10% discount for Plunkett Foundation members
  • Business cover tailored to the needs of your community shop or pub
  • Home and residential landlord cover also available at discounted rates
  • Timely and sympathetic claims handling process
  • No interest charges
  • No admin or cancellation fees
  • Weekly payment option for news retailers

Protection for your community business and your home

In addition to business cover, The Retail Mutual offers home and residential landlord cover, with Plunkett Foundation members benefiting exclusively from the same 10% discount on each cover they take out. For a free, no-obligation quote or to find out more about The Retail Mutual and its services for Plunkett Foundation members, call 0333 2121 279 or visit www.theretailmutual.com/plunkettFor terms and conditions see www.theretailmutual.com/plunkett


Co-operative Power are part of The Co-operative Group and manage over 1.5TWH of energy procurement every year. Because they procure renewable energy for their own estate as well as

their extensive client portfolio they’re able to keep costs down, ensuring the best possible prices for their customers. The Bureau have opened their own energy service to members of Plunkett Foundation.

Services on offer for members include:

  • Utility procurement
  • Cost-neutral ‘green’ renewable energy
  • Management of customers’ portfolios

In addition, every customer will be given a dedicated name and number within Co-operative Power to help assist with all aspects of their contract.

To access this deal:

Please email membership@plunkett.co.uk for more information, as we will need to provide you with a Green Energy Enquiry Form for you to complete and send to the Co-operative Power team.

Loan Providers

As a building society owned by its members, Ecology is proud to support a wide-range of community-led organisations providing services that help to regenerate local economies. That’s why they’ve created a bespoke mortgage package with us; the community gain mortgage is designed to help:

  • New or existing community-owned shops that are members of the Plunkett Foundation or receiving their advice and support
  • Community-led groups wanting to buy new or existing shop premises
  • Those requiring funds to improve or expand a community-owned shop and who can provide mortgage

Please note that Ecology will also consider mortgage applications from other community co- operatives such as pubs, cafes and community centres, but these will be assessed and priced on a

case-by-case basis under the Society’s commercial lending criteria.

The key features of the mortgage include:

  • Repayment terms from 10 to 30 years
  • Available on a capital and interest repayment basis, with an initial interest-only period possible
  • Tiered interest rates linked to the level of equity raised
  • Lower interest rates for community shops that demonstrate 3 years’ successful trading accounts
  • New or emerging community shops with fewer than 3 years’ trading accounts can also benefit from Ecology’s ‘established’ shops interest rate reduction once 3 years’ successful trading has been achieved
  • All legal and valuation fees charged to the

To access this offer, there are some basic requirements that will need to be met for Ecology to consider lending:

  • Ecology require a minimum equity contribution towards the cost of your property of 20% (30% for new and emerging community-owned shops)
  • Ecology don’t necessarily require the premises to meet a high ecological standard to lend, although this is encouraged
  • Where works to the property are required or proposed, Ecology would need evidence that energy efficient measures and sustainable materials are used
  • Ecology require a first legal charge, so if your shop has existing secured borrowing, this would need to be transferred to Ecology and considered as part of your

For each successful mortgage completion, Ecology will make a donation to Plunkett Foundation to support their work and help establish even more community co-operatives.

To access this deal:

Contact Ecology Business Development Team directly on 0845 674 5566 or 01535 650 770 or email mortgages@ecology.co.uk with any questions.

Over the last 40 years Co-operative and Community Finance has supported hundreds of businesses, from small, community-led enterprises to large, award-winning organisations. All of their funds are democratically owned and controlled by their members. They lend to those that practice the principles of co-operation, social ownership and sustainable development.

To find out more and access this deal:

Contact the Co-operative and Community Finance team by calling 0117 9166750, emailing info@coopfinance.coop or visiting www.coopfinance.coop

Triodos Bank’s mission is to use money to develop a more sustainable economy. All the businesses and charities it finances actively work to benefit people and the environment. It supports a wide range of local initiatives, ranging from community-owned shops and pubs, to community supported agriculture and renewable energy projects developed and owned by local people.

Triodos Bank provides savings and investments for individuals and a full banking service for sustainable organisations, including current accounts, lending and corporate finance. It also publishes details of every organisation it lends to, so its customers can see how their money is working.

To find out more and access this deal:

Contact the Triodos team on 0800 328 2181 or visit www.triodos.co.uk

Community groups looking to save an asset important to their community could borrow from the ethical bank Charity Bank, who are looking to help co-operatives and social enterprises in rural communities. They are entirely owned by charitable foundations, trusts and social purpose organisations, so are able to keep their social mission at the heart of everything that they do. You can apply for loans from £50,000 to £2.5 million. Members of the Plunkett Community Co-operative Network will receive a 25% reduction on loan arrangement fee.

To find out more and access this deal:

Contact the Charity Bank team by calling 01732 441919, emailing lendingteam@charitybank.org or visiting www.charitybank.org

Registering as a Community Benefit Society

We recommend that communities adopt legal structures that enable genuine community ownership with equal and democratic control, and the majority of community co-operatives are registered as Community Benefit Societies (formerly known as an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community*). We’ve developed Model Rules for this legal structure and we’re able to register your business with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our members benefit from a discounted rate when registering as a Community Benefit Society using our Model Rules – members pay £310, compared with the non-discounted rate of £570. However, please do note that if you’d like to make any changes to the Model Rules that this will incur additional costs.

*During 2014 the Co-operative and Community Benefit Society Act came into force consolidating various pieces of legislation including the Industrial and Provident Society Act. If your community co-operative already has a registered society legal structure and Plunkett Foundation (or Virsa) was your sponsoring body, Plunkett members can update their Model Rules for free, ensuring you are legally compliant and enabling you to raise further funding through community (withdrawable) shares.

To access this deal:

Contact our Frontline Team at Plunkett Foundation on 01993 810730 or email info@plunkett.co.uk

Suppliers of Shop Fixtures, Fittings and Refrigeration

Shop equipment including shelving and refrigeration. Best price.

www.shopsmart.uk.com 0115 9413640

Shop equipment including shelving and refrigeration.

Modular Shelving 10%-15% discount on orders over £500 ex VAT*

Shop Furniture
5%-10% discount on orders over £800 ex VAT*

* % dependent on the total order value

www.shop-equip.com 01623 741500
before VAT is applied

Shop design service and suppliers of bespoke and free standard display units.

Free consultation on design, and best prices already offered.

www.stagecraft-uk.com 01686 629096

Shop design service and equipment.

Design consultation and best prices offered.

www.mactrashop.co.uk 01934 517288

Telephone and Broadband

The Co-operative Business Telecoms are the UK’s only co-operative telecoms provider and one of the very few organisations in the telecoms sector to hold the Social Enterprise Mark. Owned by their customers and democratically structured, they are dedicated to making sure their customers get the best service at the best price. Members of Plunkett Foundation can get a great deal on all their communications needs:

  • Business line rental
  • Unlimited broadband
  • 500 landline minutes
  • 250 UK mobile minutes
  • Free wireless router

This is available for only £36 excluding VAT per month on a 12 month contract. Also available for

£35 without the router included (routers can be purchased separately for £36). You can also add the following extras:

  • Go unlimited on landline calls for an extra £2 per month
  • Upgrade to 1,000 mobile minutes for an extra £5 per month

Alternative packages are available on request. Members can also apply to the Social Enterprise Start-up and Expansion Fund that offers up to £250 to any new or expanding social enterprise, which any member of the Plunkett Foundation would qualify for if they are starting up or going through significant expansion. The £250 is given in the form of a credit against their telecoms services provided by The Co-operative Business Telecoms.

To access this deal:

Contact The Co-operative Business Telecoms team on 01608 434 070 for more information.

Valuation and business reports

We are pleased to be working with MJD Hughes Ltd to launch a new benefit for our Community Co- operative Network members. MJD Hughes Ltd is offering a generous discount for our members on report preparation as well as additional consultancy services. Whether you are a community group looking to buy and run your local pub and need a valuation, or a community shop looking for independent business reports, MJD Hughes Ltd will provide a free initial telephone consultation with your community group.

Reports available from MJD Hughes Ltd include:

  • Business buyer report – provides information about business potential and profitability. If the business has a property element, comment will be given on the liabilities that will be taken on and questions that legal representative should be
  • Business plan and cash flow analysis – putting a business plan together will enable more accurate use of available funds and give a clear focus on development. Adding a cash flow analysis will help when looking to acquire funds for the purchase or development of a business.
  • Business sellers report – this report provides all of the information needed to market a business allowing the community to fully appraise their
  • Feasibility study – this is for communities wishing to start a business from scratch or looking to diversify an existing business. It is of particular use to a community group where there may be a number of areas to be looked at. An example of this is in multi-use scenarios such as when a pub is used as a shop, meeting place, cafe
  • Inventory report – when a community is selling or buying a property or business if there are any fixtures, fittings and effects to be included an inventory should be produced. If these items are to be bought or sold, a valuation should accompany the inventory report. MJD Hughes provides a full inventory
  • Rent review report – it is advisable that a landlord should assess the rent on their property prior to initiating a rent review. A rent review report can provide the landlord or a tenant/lessee with all the information they require to successfully undertake rent review negotiations.
  • Commercial property inspection report – this report is invaluable for a community wanting to ensure that their tenant/lessee is maintaining the property in accordance with the terms of the agreement. This can be provided annually, at a regular period such as prior to rent reviews, or at the beginning / end of an
  • Licensed trade market rent only (MRO) option report – with the introduction of the Pubs Code, tenants and lessees of Brewers and PubCo’s with over 500 pubs now have the option to apply for a market rent only agreement. This report is designed for those looking at the possibility of applying for an MRO option agreement and to identify

In addition to the reports outlined above, MJD Hughes Ltd can also advise on the following areas on a consultancy basis:

  • Putting together a commercial lease
  • Recruiting a tenant
  • Business operational issues (e.g. optimising sales)
  • Bespoke business advice as required
  • Business rates appraisal

Consultancy support can be provided on individual basis in addition to or instead of a business report. MJD Hughes Ltd consultancy rates are £100 per hour with a 25% discount for Plunkett Community Co-operative Network members.

To access this deal:

Contact Mike Hughes, Telephone: 01904 215241, Mobile: 07960 117776 Email: info@mjdhughes.com Web: www.mjdhughes.com

Volunteer Management

Three Rings is an online volunteer management system. It is essential to make it as easy as possible for your volunteers to give their time and energy to make your community co-operative a success. The Three Rings system is produced by a team of volunteers working for Three Rings CIC, a not-for- profit company.

They believe that great software doesn’t have to take money from a budget that could be better spent helping your enterprise achieve its goals, and therefore they are offering a special discounted rate for our members. Members will benefit from:

  • 25% discount on their standard software rates
  • A free trial for one full calendar month, plus the remaining days of the month in which your organisation’s account is activated
  • A helpful and knowledgeable team on hand to offer technical

The cost of the system for a community co-operative will be between £32 and £225 (these figures include the 25% discount) and the final cost will depend on your organisation’s annual turnover and the number of volunteers. A number of community co-operatives are already using the system and recommend Three Rings.

To access this deal:

Visit http://www.threerings.org.uk/ and contact support@threerings.org.uk to arrange a free trial of the system.


Suma Wholefoods offer a supply deal exclusively for Plunkett Foundation members. In order to support community co-operatives to stock and sell more natural food products, Suma are offering a 10% discount on selected Suma branded products within their everyday grocery ranges. The offer also includes a 10% discount on Suma’s Divine Chocolate range.

To access this deal:

Please contact Suma’s New Business Team directly on 01422 313861, or by emailing newbusiness@suma.coop quoting your Plunkett membership number.

Cotswold Fayre offer 2.5% discount on premium food and drink products to all Plunkett members, their ambient and chilled brochures have plenty to tempt you. Visit www.cotswold-fayre.co.uk to view the full range of products, latest offers and industry news. The team at Cotswold Fayre are on hand to offer members advice on buying, merchandising and in-store tastings to ensure you make the most of seasonal events and promotions.

To access this deal:

Contact the team in the office on 03452 606060 or sales@cotswold-fayre.co.uk for more information.

WBC offers our members a fantastic range of retail display materials, gift & wine packaging and bags for life.

With over 850 stock products WBC is now the UK and Ireland’s largest wholesale trade supplier of gift packaging. WBC is working closely with Plunkett Foundation to support community co- operatives and offers members an exclusive 5% discount on their purchases. So whether it’s your first time, second or 35th, WBC will always offer you new ideas and inspiration.

To access this deal:

Email sales@wbc.co.uk to receive your full benefits or visit WBC online on www.wbc.co.uk for special offers, tips and discounts. Please quote code PLKT5.

Spaul and Sons is a wholesaler of stationery, hardware, haberdashery, household, personal care, confectionary products and more, and already supply a significant number of community co- operatives. They are a family-run business and have been trading for over 30 years and they pride themselves on their customer service. Spaul and Sons are keen to support community co- operatives, and Plunkett members

can now benefit from a 5% discount on orders. Also, with every order Spaul and Sons will contribute to Plunkett Foundation to support the advice service available for communities setting up and running a community co-operative. The benefits of Spaul and Sons include:

  • UK wide delivery
  • Carriage paid orders at only £65 plus VAT for mainland *
  • Split quantities to suit the customer
  • 30 days credit available
  • A wide range of products
  • Full colour catalogues and price lists and a website http://www.spaulswholesale.com/ for easy ordering

* Scottish Highlands and Islands would be dependent on weight and value but Spaul and Sons would endeavour to be as flexible as possible


To access this deal:

Visit http://www.spaulswholesale.com/ or contact sales@spaulswholesale.com or telephone 01603 721777.

Rural Community Ownership Awards

If you are a community business, find out more and apply for this year’s awards with winners receiving £250 and materials for a party to celebrate with your community.

Visit the Awards page