A radical new podcast: More Than a Shop

A radical new podcast: More Than a Shop

Posted 12th Mar 2020 at 03:08 by ihtezaz anwar

A dynamic and thought-provoking new podcast series, More Than a Shop, launches this week, a collaboration between Co-operatives UK and The Sharp Project tenants Sparklab Productions and 80 Hertz.

Presented by Rochdale-born BBC broadcaster and journalist, Elizabeth Alker, More Than a Shop shares inspiring stories about co-operative solutions to topical issues, stimulating debate on how to do business the ‘right way’. The series is called More Than a Shop because it helps people understand that co-ops are so much more than just high street convenience stores.

Each episode lasts around 40 minutes and welcomes guests with something new and radical to say about the big issues of the day, from climate change to food, mental health and education. The chat is lively, energetic – sometimes controversial but always entertaining, in the spirit of the worldwide co-operative movement.

Co-operatives have great stories to tell. They rescue pubs and football clubs, provide a path out of precarious work and zero hours contracts and spark conversations about new ways of thinking, living and working. This series of podcasts is all about demonstrating how people power and co-operation can tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society.

More Than A Shop is produced by Geoff Bird on behalf of  Sparklab Productions, and recorded at 80 Hertz Studios at The Sharp Project.

Listen via or wherever you access your podcasts.

Mel Harris and her team at Sparklab Productions have partnered up with colleagues at Manchester-based co-operative organisations – Co-operatives UK, the Co-op, the Co-operative College, Co-op News and the Co-operative Heritage Trust – to create the series which explores how co-ops are making a difference in communities all over the UK.

“Podcasting is huge,” says Leila O’Sullivan from Co-operatives UK, who helped coordinate the project. “The challenge was to create engaging and entertaining podcasts that stand out, highlighting how co-ops proudly offer radical alternatives to mainstream ways of getting things done.”

Mel Harris adds, “We worked together with the five co-op organisations to develop our themes.  From there we drew up a list of fascinating guests. The eight topics for the first series are broad, but relevant across society as a whole covering education, music, climate change, food, end of life, mental health, the future of the high street and worker ownership. It has been a thoroughly enjoyable and indeed enlightening experience.  We really hope we have made something that gets people listening and then talking!”

The first episode is now live, looking at the challenges facing the UK’s education system.

Education for all? A new school of thought | More Than a Shop podcast

Education for all? A new school of thought explores where the barriers exist in the current day education system, for both young people and adults, with presenter Elizabeth Alker talking to guests Cilla Ross, Principal and CEO of The Co-operative College, and poet/performer David Scott AKA ARGH KiD. The episode also features an interview with Leeds Co-op Academy Principal Jonny Mitchell – of Educating Yorkshire fame – and students.

Listen via or wherever you get your podcasts…


Transcript of episodes will be saved here every fortnight.

The Sharp Project
Thorp Road
M40 5BJ
United Kingdom