Co-operative societies up and down the country will be hanging up the bunting this summer to celebrate the first-ever Co-operative Fortnight.

The event, headed by Co-operatives UK, will take place between 19 June and 3 July. It will promote the movement's aims to the public and is set to become an annual event. "We intend it to be a ground-breaking initiative in which people from across the co-operative movement are brought together to promote the relevance and success of co-operative business," said Giles Simon, communications and development officer at Co-operatives UK.

Further celebrations are planned in 2012 after the UN declared 2012 as the International Year of Co-operatives. The UN is to encourage governments to provide more financial aid to support new co-ops. The International Co-operative Alliance will hold events up to and throughout 2012.