The Midcounties Co-operative, which includes the fast-growing Midcounties Co-operative Travel, has achieved record turnover of £1 billion.

The figure is double that of 2005 when the group was formed through merger and marks eight years of growth for the community retailer.

Midcounties was formed in a merger between the West Midlands Co-op and Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op Societies.

It is the largest independent co-operative retailer in the UK, emplying more than 9,000 staff in businesses that include food stores and post offices, pharmacies, travel branches, funeral homes, employee benefits and childcare nurseries.

Chief executive Ben Reid said: “This is a huge milestone in the development of the business and illustrates just how much progress we have made in a relatively short time.

“We are thrilled as we believe that it shows consumers see increasing value in buying goods and services from an ethically run business that provides real support for the communities in which it trades.”