Who we are?

Want to Know a little About us? Let us tell you.

The Marches Hive represents the launch of a co-operative website which seeks to provide a home for new, existing and emerging co-operative and social enterprises in the Marches area either side of Offa’s Dyke. These organisations may have both a micro and macro focus on solutions to local , regional , national and international challenges.

More than 30 years experience

The pioneers of the Marches Hive have more than thirty years experience of significant co-operative activity in education, training and re-generation through a variety of mutual organisations owned by individual and business community members. This is in addition to many effective national and international partnerships led from the Marches.


The name Marches Hive has been carefully chosen because it explains the home base area. Our offices are in Grange Court, Leominster, Herefordshire. The Marches Hive most importantly provides a vision of an organic co-operative structure which seeks to encourage innovation and activity with a regional, national  and international reach.


The Marches Hive will from day one publish the well received review of the former Robert Owen Co-operative  Academy as well as providing a home for the Robert Owen Society. In addition we will offer a regular interactive discussion platform, which will seek to stimulate debate and offer a forum for innovative Socratic debate on education, training and re-generation.


Co-operatives are member owned, values led organisations that seek to offer effective support their communities. We live in unprecedented times where innovative ideas have never been more necessary if our communities and our people are to survive, prosper and offer hope for the future to our young people .


We hope that you will join us, support our vision and mission and engage with us as we offer co-operative solutions to current and future challenges.

Meet our Fantastic Team

Our team of dedicated Directors are committed to serving Marches Hive and its ventures. Here’s a little more info about each member.

Trevor Hayes


Trevor has been actively involved in education all his working life as a teacher; teacher trainer; school governor and as member of a high school senior leadership team . He has for over twenty years been a key component of the Robert Owen Society governance.

Chris Morgan

Secretary & President

Chris has been involved in education for over fifty five years as a teacher; university lecturer; local authority education officer and trained Ofsted inspector. Chris was one of the pioneers who formed the Marches Consortium in 1992.

Vincent Fish

Finance Director

Vincent has had a close involvement with the Robert Owen Group through the Robert Owen Society and the Robert Owen Academies Trust. Vincent has a background in banking and retailing

Will Jackson


Will has been involved in governance within the Robert Owen Group for some eight years. He brings to the table a wealth of knowledge and experience of the world of business with a focus on horticulture and agriculture . Will is a keen environmentalist

Roland Summers


Roland was a pioneer founder of the Marches Consortium in 1992 . Roland has a life long experience of education and has been a successful headteacher of secondary schools in Lancashire and Herefordshire. He is a former Herefordshire Councillor and Cabinet member for economic development

Gareth Jones


Gareth is the relatively new person on the block and joined the Board of Directors of the Robert Owen Society some three years ago. Gareth is a life long co-operator and has a background in co-operative retailing and is a manager of a large store

Geoff Hughes

When the Marches Consortium was formed in 1992 Geoff saw the potential of the organisation for re-generation- both economic and social. Geoff brings the life long experience of working at the highest levels of local government with a clear commitment to over come the challenges faced by rural communities







A selection of recommendations…

Lecturer in a Further Education College

Working in co-operation was a new process for me because I had been programmed to see other providers as competitors. When the Marches Consortium launched the ROCKET Project funded by the NCET I suddenly found that working with schools, colleges and other training providers was a growth point and very much a plus .

High School Headteacher

We were struggling to understand how we could remain viable in a rural environment where all the odds seemed to stacked against us. We started in 1992 to work with other schools within the co-operative structure of the Marches Consortium and workable solutions started to appear. Trust of others became so much easier

SME Owner

Over the past three decades I have found that co-operation is a philosophy and a workable one at that. When I have work force or resource issues the Robert Owen Group has invariably been able to offer solutions to help me arrive at  a resolution.

Further Education College Principal

In the Marches sub region we live in the second largest wilderness in the UK . Rural issues are never understood by central government where the metropolitan mindset dominates. The Robert Owen Group has helped us to work together to address some of these complex issues

Headteacher Pioneer of the Marches Consortium SCITTer

Developing a school centred post graduate initial teacher training project was the most positive undertaking in my professional life as a school leader. Through the Robert Owen Group we worked with our colleagues in Gloucestershire schools and in the University of Gloucester to develop ultimately the largest scheme of its kind in the UK which stretched either side of Offa’s Dyke. We provided a pipe line of highly qualified teachers matched to job vacancies and helped the training schools to look afresh at their own teaching and learning.

CEO of Marches Charity

As schools and community groups we were struggling to source goods and materials at competitive prices. We approached the Robert Owen Society and the officers arranged a procurement conference with the Co-op Group and Herefordshire Council as sponsors. The conference was well attended with national speakers. Out of this arose Robert Owen Procurement Services (ROPS) as a co-operative of schools and third sector organisations. This proved to be an immediate success with the Co-op Group offering to sell ROPS goods at the rate they supplied their stores. This ran for five years until the market diversified. We believed in one for all and all for one.

Want to join us?
We're Recruiting

We'd love to have you in our Team click the button below to view Open position.