About our Shop
Uig, famous for the discovery of the 12th Century carved Lewis (UIG) Chessmen, is one of the UK’s most remote communities, lying some 40 miles from Stornoway on the far west coast of Lewis.
In 2003 our only shop, which also housed the Post Office and petrol station, was put up for sale. Concerned that these lifeline services would be lost, the Uig Development Trust was formed to look at the feasibility of community ownership. Through a combination of shares and grants the Trust bought the business and over the next 3 years carried out a range of improvements to the premises – including resurfacing the car park, installing a new fuel pump and a disabled access ramp.
The Uig Community Co-operative was established to run the business in 2004, and by 2009 we had more than doubled our turnover, diversified to offer a range of services and are one of the largest employers in the area.
As a co-operative we have a voluntary management committee that oversees the running of the business and have become a corporate member of the Co-operative Group which allows us to order goods directly through the Group’s supply chain. Being so remote, it would be impossible to get a regular supply of good quality goods at a reasonable cost without this support from the Co-op.
The latest development for our community business has been a large extension and the installation of a number of new services. With the help of over £500,000 in grant funding we have been able to double the size of the shop, and added a laundrette, meeting room, a seating area with microwave, coffee facilities and displays of local arts and crafts, new delivery and storage space and cold room, public toilet and staff office. Two wind turbines have also been installed to power the shop premises.
The extension has enabled us to provide a much nicer and better equipped shop as well as increasing the range we can sell. Having the extra space means we can offer a service to local businesses – we can now make up orders for restaurants, guest houses and holiday lodges.
If you would like to enquire about any of our services we’d love to hear from you so please get in touch on 01851 672 444 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can submit a contact form using the button below.