Radical Routes

Radical Routes is a UK-based network of housing co-ops.[3] The organisation supports new and established co-ops through loan finance, training workshops, practical support, and national gatherings.[4]

Radical Routes
Radical Routes logo.gif
FormationIncorporated 1 April 1992 (1992-04-01)[1]
TypeSecondary co-operative
Legal statusRegistered Society
PurposeSocial change
ServicesCo-operative development, finance, training, gatherings
40 housing co-ops, worker co-ops, and social centres[2]
Main organ
Quarterly Gathering of Members
Radical Routes member Nutclough Housing Co-operative in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.
Radical Routes member Nutclough Housing Co-operative in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.


Radical Routes emerged in 1986 from a network of people in London and Hull who wanted to develop workers' co-operatives.[5] The network agreed its common aims and adopted the name Radical Routes in 1988, and became incorporated as Radical Routes Limited in 1992.[6] In 1998 Rootstock Limited was incorporated as an investment scheme supporting Radical Routes co-operatives.[7] The original house in Hockley was set up as the 'New Education Housing Co-op'.[8]

According to Rootstock, between 1991 and 2012 Radical Routes made over sixty loans to member co-ops – totaling over £1m – with no co-operatives defaulting on loan payments.[9] These loans have typically been used by member housing co-ops, in addition to finance from traditional lenders, to buy property.[10]


Radical Routes provides small loans (up to about £50,000) to member co-operatives. Decisions on making loans are made collectively by other member co-operatives, this has been described as "peer-group loan appraisal".[11]

Radical Routes publishes booklets on subjects such as How to set up a Housing Co-operative and How to set up a Worker Co-operative.[12]

With Cooperatives UK they launched proposals for an independent co-operative regulator after the government announced that it would be abolishing the FSA. Previously the FSA had regulated co-operatives, which were registered as industrial and provident societies.

Radical Routes is developing a ‘co-op cluster’ model for co-op housing with groups of housing co-ops combining their assets to buy new properties outright, eliminating mortgage interest.[13]


Member co-operatives are expected to commit to a share of Radical Routes' workload as volunteers, and work toward radical social change.[14][15]

The organisation has about 40 members, consisting primarily of small housing co-ops, alongside some worker co-ops and social centres. The organisation also has a number of supporting associates.[16]


  1. ^ "Mutuals Public Register: Radical Routes Limited". mutuals.fca.org.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Radical Routes - List of Members & Associates". www.radicalroutes.org.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Housing co-ops: one way to find an affordable home". The Guardian. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Radical Routes - Aims & Principles". www.radicalroutes.org.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  5. ^ Gosling, Paul (18 July 1993). "Fund sells a stake in radical ventures: Paul Gosling reports on schemes to provide low-interest loans for alternative businesses at home and abroad". The Independent. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Radical Routes Social Accounts 2013" (PDF). Social Audit Network. 2013. p. 3. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Radical Routes". www.rootstock.org.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  8. ^ Albery, Nicholas (1992). The Book of Visions: An Encyclopaedia of Social Innovations. Virgin. ISBN 9780863696015. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Radical Routes Loans". www.rootstock.org.uk. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Housing coops: a landlord you can trust". The Bristol Cable. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  11. ^ Field, Stuart (April 2015). "Financial models for Community Development Finance Institutions in the UK" (PDF). ISB Paper Series. Institute for Social Banking. 15: 54.
  12. ^ "Radical Routes - Publications & Resources". radicalroutes.org.uk. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  13. ^ Kidd, Marie-Claire (16 June 2015). "Radical Routes Plans to Free Housing Co-ops from Mortgage Trap". The News Coop. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  14. ^ Nicholson, Patrick (November 2007). "Radical Routes". peacenews.info. Peace News. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  15. ^ Rai, Milan; Johns, Emily (December 2014). "Radical Routes and radical social change". peacenews.info. Peace News. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Radical Routes - List of Members & Associates". www.radicalroutes.org.uk. Retrieved 27 October 2019.

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