About Us

In this section of the website, we explain why the Museum exists, look at the origins of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society and take a glimpse into the future of the Museum.

Why Does the Rochdale Pioneers Museum Exist?

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum exists to preserve the original store of the Rochdale Pioneers and to generate an understanding of the ideals and principles of the co-operative movement.

Key Aims

  • To preserve and maintain the store building and collections relating to the Rochdale Pioneers and the co-operative movement in general.
  • To provide an educational experience for visitors that includes the origins and development of the Rochdale Pioneers Society in the context of 19th century Rochdale.
  • To promote an understanding of the motivation and dedication of the Rochdale Pioneers.
  • To communicate an understanding of the co-operative alternative and co-operative values and principles as defined by the Pioneers and their contribution and relevance to current times.

A guide book, translated in to several languages – English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish is available to download in the Resources section of the website.

The Museum is managed for the co-operative movement by the Co-operative College.

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum – an Accredited Museum.

MAS English (black)The Accreditation Scheme for Museums and Galleries in the United Kingdom aims to encourage all museums and galleries to achieve agreed minimum standards in museum management, collection care and public services.

For more information, visit the Arts Council Website.

Quality Assured Visitor Attraction (VAQAS)

VAQAS was launched nationally by Visit Britain in 2001. It is a consumer focused quality assessment service for all types of visitor attractions. It helps to identify strengths of an attraction and highlights development areas based on industry examples. A wide range of attractions of all sizes, both large and small, throughout England participate in the service.

The Rochdale Pioneers Museum applied to join the scheme and was granted membership in 2008. In his report, the VAQAS assessor observed:

“The Museum gives a real insight into the vision of the original Rochdale Pioneers and their impact on the growth of the Co-operative movement.”

“The Rochdale Pioneers Museum provides an overall very good standard of visitor experience and amply merits the initial VisitBritain accreditation as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction”

For more information about the VAQAS scheme, please visit the VisitBritain website.