Green Elephant co-operative.

Green Elephant is registered as a co-operative to allow the people working at Halton Mill to decide how the place is run. Those renting space and others using the Mill facilities have the option to become members of Green Elephant.

Why Elephants?

Our management company, Green Elephant Co-operative Limited, is named after the mechanical elephants produced by Luneside Engineering, the last owner of the Mill.

Our Members

Members of the Green Elephant co-operative are eligible to vote in the directors, decide how any profits are spent and also make key decisions about how the company is run.
Co-operatives operate on the basis of one member, one vote.

Our Current Green Elephant Directors.

Aaron Kara


I first came to Halton Mill in 2017 to use the Hive coworking space shortly after my first son was born (mainly for my own sanity) and I haven't looked back since. I now run my creative studio Lunebase from one of the office spaces overlooking the River Lune. The Mill has an unrivalled community of friendly people, doing interesting things, in a very unique building.

As a Director of the Mill, I love to get my hands dirty and help with all things design where possible. The brochure design, the website, the interactive 360 tour are all things I've helped bring to life.

Outside the Mill, you can find me playing 7-a-side football, learning to ride a surfskate or spending time with my two young sons.

Alison Cahn

Founding Director

I am a BAFTA winning journalist and producer/director with 20 years experience in television current affairs, documentary and factual programming. I then spent seven years as a Director of Communications in the NHS and higher education.

I moved from London to Lancaster by narrowboat in 2012 to join Lancaster Cohousing and quickly became involved in getting Halton Mill up and running. I’m constantly excited by the possibilities it offers to be a hub of creativity and enterprise, as well as being a good fun place to work.

Annie Neat


I am a holistic psychotherapist, yoga teacher and breathwork facilitator under my business Neat Wellbeing. I have been involved in Halton Mill since it opened using the space for events, workshops and classes. My business is now based at Halton Mill as I run the River Room, yoga and wellbeing studio. The River Room is a spacious community studio which hosts a variety of classes, workshops, retreats and one to one clients.

Outside of work I love roaming around in my camper van and can often be found in the hills, cold water swimming or simply hanging out with my family!

Chris Coates

Founding Director

I have been something of a serial co-operative entrepreneur over the years, Green Elephant will be something like the eighth co-operative venture I have been involved with setting up and running. More recently I have been a member of Welfare State International , a partner in Greenbuilt and a Green Party Councillor on Lancaster City and Lancashire County Council’s.

When asked the question “What do I do?” I always hesitate – before answering either ‘Carpenter turned construction project manager’ or ‘Making things happen, by whatever means necessary.’ Depending on who’s asking the question.

Charlie Little


I am a Mum of two beautiful kids & live in the neighbouring Lancaster Cohousing community. I have an office in the Mill where I can be found most days either doing my day job or escaping from my kids! I work in the social housing sector where I manage a service that involves tenants in housing related policy, strategy & performance monitoring. The aim is to empower tenants to have ownership over the decisions that affect their lives & hold their housing provider to account. My background is working in housing for people who are homeless or experiencing domestic abuse.

Aside from my day job, I am a Director of Halton Mill & Lancaster Community Car Club. I am part of a collective that hosts a local DIY queer club night, where I can be seen DJing if I’m feeling brave enough! My general interests include eco living, queer & DIY culture, nature & allotmenting.

Mandy Blackwell


My company Mandy Blackwell Recruitment has been around since 2013. I feel so grateful to have found Halton Mill & have an office overlooking the beautiful river. It is my job to recruit talented people & connect them with great upcoming career opportunities in the local area. Halton Mill is therefore now at the heart of my business & an inspirational place to work & form long-lasting friendships.

Outside of Halton Mill, I take every opportunity to get out & about in my camper van. I also love riding my bike in the summer & spending quality time with family & friends.

Rebecca McAllister


I'm the founding Director of Archihive, an Architecture, Interiors & Design Studio who are proud to be based at Halton Mill. With a passion for the design of space, light & form, I believe architectural design should, at its heart be people based. Having moved into our refurbished studio earlier this year, the community at the Mill is a hub of creativity & they, along with the building's environmental strategy are something we are privileged to be part of & which matches our ethos as a company for sustainable design.

I'm passionate about, supporting & promoting awareness of those who are Neurodivergent & aim to consider those with sensory needs as part of my architectural approach; looking at the built environment from a different perspective to try & make spaces accessible to all.

Outside of the Mill, I enjoy spending time with my family at home, Simon & our two young boys. I also have a passion for the arts & enjoy painting and photography.

Simon McAllister


I'm an award-winning Chartered Architect & Designer who along with my fellow Director Rebecca, run our own practice, Archihive Architects which is based at Halton Mill. We first joined the community at the Mill in January 2021 as members of the Hive co-working space & realised how much we wanted to be more involved as part of the Mill's creative community.

Passionate about modern, contemporary & sustainable design, with expertise & a background in heritage & adapting existing buildings to meet modern needs, the opportunity to work at the Mill was an exciting opportunity in the development of Archihive. As a director of the Mill, my hope is to help nurture the Mill for future generations & look to see what we can do to help sustain this local heritage asset & creative business hub into the future for the local community.

Outside of the Mill, I'm also a lecturer and tutor of Architecture, Design and Technology at Lancaster University. I enjoy spending time with my family at home cooking with Rebecca and gaming with our boys, I also enjoy walking and cycling.

The legal framework for our kind of co-operative is now the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, and we are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, where our registration number is 31944R; you can find our registered details on the Mutuals Register.

Co-operatives UK have a page explaining what is a co-operative; the International Co-operatives Alliance hosts a page on co-operative identity, values and principles.