This story has been clarified; please see final paragraph
An online support service to help third sector organisations to set up mutuals and cooperatives has been launched today by Co-operatives UK, the national body for cooperatives.
The online service will allow third sector organisations access to Co-operatives UK’s legal team, which will be able to provide general legal and governance advice over the phone. The online service will also offer a step-by-step setup guide, case studies and links to other organisations.
Co-operatives UK will be also offer a ‘set fee service’, which allows organisations to access bespoke legal support. A spokeswoman for Co-operatives UK said the cost of the service would vary according to the amount of support and the type of organisation.
Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK, said: "Our new website will be able to provide more help and support to organisations across the board, from small social enterprises that are just starting out to existing businesses looking to expand or established charities in need of affordable advice."
A spokeswoman for Co-operatives UK said after the story was published that the service will help people set up several different types of third sector organisations, not just mutuals and cooperatives.