Co-operative movement film gets tv premiere

Stars of the Rochdale Pioneers Photo: ITV Granada

A film telling the story of the birth of the co-operative movement in Rochdale in 1844 will receive its TV premiere this weekend.

The Rochdale Pioneers, commissioned by the Co-operative Group, tells the story of 28 men who established a shop in the town which is now recognised as the birth of the co-operative movement.

An estimated one billion people now belong to around 1.4 million co-operative enterprises across the world.

The film, produced by a co-operative, has been made to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.

Mark Robinson-Field, the Co-operative's national co-operative and membership manager, said: "The principles that the Rochdale Pioneers set out became the basis for how co-operatives around the world still operate. It is a remarkable story of struggle against adversity that is just as relevant today."

The Rochdale Pioneers will be shown on Film4 tomorrow.