Code-Operative - New Tyneside Tech Co-op Looking To Talk To Experienced CoTech People

Hi there! I’m one of 4 freelance software devs who are working with Gateshead Council to start a tech co-op. We’ve got some office space, and are hoping to start work on our first client very soon.

We’re modelling ourselves somewhat on HappyDev, the french freelancer network, but obviously, there’s UK specifics we’ll have to take care of.

Would anyone be up for taking a call with us in the next week or two to answer some questions/give some advice about tech co-op functioning?


This sounds really interesting John. I’m particularly interested in the realtionship with the local authority. If at all possible it would be fabulous to have a bit of a case study/write-up.


Finn here, from Agile Collective, a 15-ish person tech co-operative based in Oxford, started in 2011. I’d be happy to jump on a call and have a chat about our experiences. It is always good if you can learn from other people’s mistakes! Let me know when would be good.


Hey there, happy to have a chat if helpful. We’ve been going for about 15 years, 8 in an intentionally self-managing format. So we don’t know the utopian answer, and I can tell some stories :slight_smile: Cheers! Tom.


Hi , we’d be happy to have a chat with you guys


@toml @finn @liam I’ll send you DMs to work out a good time


I went to an event in May that was about boosting the North East tech sector. During the panel discussion Q&A, I asked a question about tech co-ops (referencing CoTech) and the response from the panel was as if I’d asked the question in arabic or something. Tumbleweed. But afterwards I was approached by the enterprise manager for Gateshead Council who told me that they’re doing community wealth building, and that co-ops would be a big part of that. I had a meeting with him, and he instructed me to find some more people who would be interested and bring them to another meeting.

I talked to Nick Woodfine who runs the game dev meetup in Newcastle, who as it happens had been thinking of starting a tech co-op about ten years ago (he actually contributed the name, Code-Operative, from his old project). And then brought him, and another programmer that I know to the next meeting. We got assigned some office space in a building that the Council operate, and also the council commissioned Robert Webb of Transmit to assist us in creating a business plan.

And that’s what we’ve been doing for the past 8 weeks.


Hey John, glad to hear it’s going well.

I’m also happy to help/advise - I’m on 07738536552.

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