An Clachan community shop in Leverburgh has reported a successful year of trading in 2018.

Chris Ross, who chairs Co-Chomunn na Hearadh, told shareholders:

“I’m pleased to report on what has been another very successful year for our community shop.”

He went on: “I’d like to thank all of An Clachan’s management and staff; our success is first and foremost due to their tremendous efforts, the community for their loyal support and all the management committee members, for without their support nothing would be achieved.

“We have enjoyed strong local support throughout the year which again was boosted by a vibrant tourist season. Tourism always will be a very important factor to the business. 2018 summer was no exception, we were extremely busy. Our revamped craft shop and hardware proved very successful. Sales showed some substantial growth during the year. Craft sales increased 35% and hardware by 28%

“Our turnover for the year was £1,547,105 an increase of 8.7 % on the previous year.

“Over the past five years our turnover has increased steadily from £978,652 representing an increase of 58%.  

“Our net profit this year was £45,920 representing an 80.6% increase on the previous year which was £25,417.

“I am delighted to say this is after accounting for some substantial costs.  We have refurbished the hardware and craft departments. We are encouraged by the sharp increase in sales as a result. A special thanks to Caroline Chaffer who project managed the craft department.”

Future projects include continuing to upgrade the frozen food department maintenance of the shop, particularly the roof.

And the latest improvement was that last month petrol and diesel fuel for vehicles became now far more easily available after the shop upgraded its pumps to allow fuel sales after hours - making it the only 24/7 petrol station in Harris.

Chris Ross said: “We identified a need for this service some time ago and have been working to bring it to fruition.

The new pumps are ‘pay in the shop’ during shop hours and at the pump by credit or debit card outwith business hours.

Chris went on to say: “Fuel is the life blood of the island.  This service will not only benefit locals and our ever-increasing tourist market but our emergency services based at Leverburgh.  All can now rest at ease with the knowledge that fuel will be available here 24/7.”