The merger of Midlands Co-operative Society and Anglia Co-operative Society will go ahead next month after members voted unanimously in favour of the proposal.

A second confirmatory meeting took place last night, with members giving the green light to create a new retail co-op, trading under The Co-operative Food fascia, with projected sales of £1bn.

The businesses, which revealed in September that they planned to merge, will adopt a new name before the end of the year. 

Midlands Co-op said the new name will reflect “the input of colleagues and members and will signal the start of a new and exciting future for both businesses”.

The combined business will employ 8,600 staff, consist of 227 food stores, 112 funeral home and 21 travel shops as well as three opticians and a salon.

The Co-op chair steps down early amid management controversy