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.
Toad Lane, Rochdale is widely regarded as the home of the worldwide co-operative movement. The Pioneers put together the ideas and practices that led to the Co-operative Principles, adopted by people forming co-operative societies throughout Britain and abroad, setting the pattern for successful consumer co-operatives. As they became better known, the Rochdale Pioneers received visitors from all over the world.
The Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society has become the best known co-operative society in the world - its name has been used for wine produced by a French co-operative wine making society, an electricity co-operative in America and the Rochdale co-operative taxi fleet in Mexico.
The Rochdale Pioneers Museum was opened in April 1931 at 31 Toad Lane, Rochdale in the building where the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society opened their first store on 21st December 1844. It has become a place of pilgrimage for thousands of British and international co-operators, historians, schoolchildren and members of the public each year.