Co-op launches campaign to protect community hubs

Brand offers financial support to help restore parks, libraries and leisure centres.

The Co-operative Group has launched an initiative, called "Save our spaces", in which it pledges to help support and improve 2,000 at-risk community spaces by 2022.

It has created a series of mini-documentaries about sites that the company and its campaign partner, community organisation charity Locality, will be helping. Co-op is also inviting the public to help identify spaces that are in need of support by using the hashtag #saveourspaces.

One of the highlighted sites is the Byrne Avenue Baths leisure centre in Birkenhead. It has been shut for 10 years but the Byrne Avenue Trust is working to restore it with funding from Co-op and Locality.

A £1.6m match-funding partnership between Co-op Foundation and the government is available for the projects, as well as an additional £1.3m through the Co-op Local Community Fund.

Rebecca Birkbeck, Co-op’s director of community and shared value, said: "We know that people need community spaces to learn together, play together and just be together. This is why we are making this commitment with Locality and why we know that our communities will be healthier, happier and safer places as a result."

The campaign was created by M&C Saatchi Public Relations.