Staff from Uig’s innovative community shop are off to London today (Monday September 16th) as they take their place at an awards ceremony widely regarded as ‘The Oscars’ of the grocery retail sector.

The shop at Timsgarry has been shortlisted as independent community retailer of the year at the Retail Industry Awards, which reward excellence and outstanding achievement across a broad range of categories. It’s the only time of year the whole industry gets together to recognise the smallest independent retailers alongside the largest supermarket groups.

The community-owned shop offers a wide range of groceries and everyday essentials, as well as fuel on a 24/7 basis using an external payment terminal.

The Uig team will be at the Grade II listed setting of The Brewery on Chiswell Street, near the Barbican in central London, to hear whether they’ve topped their category. With other shortlisted businesses coming from Northumberland, Kircaldy, Belfast and Lancashire they admit that any winner will be a worthy one, having excelled in serving their local community wherever they are in the UK.

In a social media statement yesterday the shop managers said: “This is it! The edge of the world goes to the heart of the city, as our community-owned shop travels to London.

“Excitement is outweighed by pride in our remote community achieving such recognition. Uig has already benefited from the exposure and the fantastic London experience will, no doubt, provide ideas and inspiration to help our community shop realise its vision for the future.”

The awards trip means Uig’s Post Office services will be unavailable this week until Thursday, although stamps can be bought at the shop counter during the rest of the week. Uig shop has also reverted to winter hours from today – 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday.