Radical Routes grew from a small group of independent co-operatives that developed in the 1980s. These housed people who were interested in buying properties from which they could start other projects but who were either unemployed or otherwise living on low incomes.
Taking Control Events were organised whenever enthusiasm allowed. These were seminars on how to take control of housing and work by setting up cooperatives. In 1988 the network took the name Radical Routes and began holding quarterly gatherings.
In 1991 we adopted the role of a secondary co-operative that made it possible to raise investment centrally through a national ethical investment scheme. Previously each co-operative had raised money itself from friends, relatives and supporters and when necessary coops would lend money to each other.
By promoting the activities of all member cooperatives we raised our public profile and at the same time we became more attractive to a wider range of investors through spreading invested money over a larger range of different ventures, thereby reducing the risk of investing money in a project that failed. In fact Radical Routes has never lost money through a failed project, a record which few if any other investment organisations can equal.
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