We don't want the museum to be only a shrine to things people achieved in the past: Co-operation is a powerful modern tool as well so it is important to us to try to support co-operation as it happens today.
We believe that when people work together they can achieve long lasting change.
Rochdale is ranked the 15th most deprived borough in England based on a rank of the average for LSOAs in the area (defined in the Indices of Deprivation). Many of the people in the borough were already significantly disadvantaged when the pandemic struck.
The pandemic revealed a number of inequalities but the rapid default to and reliance on, delivery of services online, highlighted the large number of people who were digitally excluded. Those without affordable and reliable access to the internet and/or lacking digital skills were left further behind, missed out on support and access to services and provision.
A local partnership was created to fund and install new fibre and a 'mesh network' on the roof of the Pioneers building on Toad Lane which could send a signal to receivers on local tower blocks in College Bank and Lower Falinge enabling people in the area to access high speed 'co-operative broadband' for free. The network was expanded to other parts of Rochdale in 2022 and you can read more about the project and how it works in this guide published in 2022 by Co-operative Councils Innovation Network.