Our History


Lakes & Dales Co-operative was formerly known as the Penrith Co-operative Society, and is today part of the Scottish Midland Co-operative Society (Scotmid Co-operative). Scotmid and Penrith Co-operatives share a rich history of co-operation and have both been at the heart of their local communities since the 19th century.

Penrith Co-operative was formed in 1890 as an independent co-operative society. The first shop was opened in 1891 in Penrith at 21-22 Great Dockray, with 87 members. Sales in the first year of operation totaled just £1,377. Business started to improve towards the turn of the century and the Society continued to open more shops and property.



Penrith Co-operative merged with the Keswick Co-operative Society in 1969; the Lazonby and District Co-operative Society in 1990; the Naworth Collieries Co-operative Society in 1993; and the Stanhope and Weardale Co-operative Society in 2002.


Penrith Co-operative merged with the Scottish Midland Co-operative Society (Scotmid Co-operative) in 2013, following approval from Penrith Co-operative members and the Board of Scotmid Co-operative.



Scotmid Co-operative began in 1859 in Edinburgh as the St Cuthbert’s Co-operative Association. The Society has grown to become Scotland’s largest independent co-operative. Find out more about the history of Scotmid Co-operative