£400,000 windfall for Lincolnshire Co-op members

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A PRIMARY school and a parish council are among community groups that have benefited from grants totalling more than £24,500 dished out by Lincolnshire Co-op.

As part of the company’s 150th birthday celebrations, it gave groups the chance to bid for cash from its Big Birthday Award grants.

Those successful in South Holland included St John’s Primary School in Spalding which received £5,000 towards new sound and lighting equipment for shows and concerts regularly given by the school, Holbeach Parish Council which was awarded £5,000 towards creating a suitable Tarmac surface for the Goalforce area in Carters Park so youngsters can play sports there all year round, and The Friends of Chain Bridge Forge in Spalding, which was given £5,000 to create a guidebook and video to complement the future living history museum about the 19th century forge.

Co-op members in south Lincolnshire have also benefited, sharing a dividend payout of more than £434,000, including an extra birthday bonus.

It means the Society’s 16,383 members in the area, which includes Spalding and Long Sutton, will share in an extra £217,364 on top of the £217,364 they’ve received during the year.

Lincolnshire Co-operative is owned by its 205,000 members across the trading area of Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire. The total dividend payout shared by eligible members this year is £4.8m.

The Society’s total sales went up 2.7 per cent in 2010/11 to £285m and profit, before member benefits, has been maintained at £21.6m.

As well as the Big Birthday Bonus for members, Society employees receive an extra profit share. This half year, eligible staff were paid a bonus of 110 per cent of a weekly wage.

£23 million was invested in improving Lincolnshire Co-op services including a major refurbishment at Sutton Bridge Foodstore, a refurbishment at Holbeach Funeral Home and relocating both Spalding Post Office and Travel branch from the Winsover Centre.

Lincolnshire Co-operative’s chief executive Ursula Lidbetter said: “I’d like to thank our members who continue to support their business. Our dedicated team of 2,700 staff also deserves thanks as without them, we wouldn’t be able to provide the range and quality of services that we do.”