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HIE Support

North Uist Distillery's focus on fair work

Owners of North Uist Distillery sitting in window

Being the best is a moving target

North Uist Distillery, established in 2019 by Kate MacDonald and Jonny Ingledew, is home to the multi-award winning Downpour Gin range.

A business born out of their love for the vibrant heritage and culture of the islands, the couple’s vision has remained focused on high-quality locally resourced ingredients, sustainable practices, and creating great opportunities for workers and visitors.

They have built a dedicated team of talented individuals who share their passion and commitment to quality. We find out here why Jonny has recently taken part in our Fair Work Support Programme:

Why are the people who work with you so important to you and your business?
Our team is the lifeblood of North Uist Distillery, they are the friendly welcome at the visitor centre, the handwritten thank you note sent out with every order, and the hands behind every Downpour G&T enjoyed in our courtyard and round the world. Our team are also from our community and have become our friends so coming into work and seeing them working together as one is a really enjoyable and rewarding experience.

What was your main motivation in taking part in the Fair Work Support Programme? North Uist Distillery's mission is to put Uist on the whisky map whilst being a carbon neutral distillery and the best employer on the islands of Uist. Being the best employer is a moving target with no end and so we will keep working on improving the way we look after our team. HIE's Fair Work Support Programme was the perfect opportunity for us to familiarise ourselves with the fair work principles, benchmark where we are at, and identify areas we need to work on.

What kinds of areas did your 1-2-1 session focus on?
The main area identified during our 1-2-1 session for us to work on was the HR resources we have in place for our team. We have been a relatively quick growing team, growing from 3 to 10 in the space of a year and choosing to keep HR in house meant there was a lot for myself and my co-founder to learn, and documents we needed to prepare. We recently applied for B-Corp status so this was another opportunity for us, along with the fair work programme to identify what areas we were lacking in.

For others maybe thinking of taking part – what would you say is most interesting/useful from your experience?
This programme includes some excellent group exercises so I enjoyed the networking opportunity that this provided as well as seeing where others are at on their fair work journey. Being able to draw on the experience of the AAB People team and discuss ideas for implementing Fair Work First was really valuable.

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