Back in business: Loan for Skye hotel as it prepares to welcome guests

The Uig Hotel Picture, Marcus McAdam.

A hotel on the Isle of Skye has secured bank finance to help trading in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The Uig Hotel has obtained a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan from Barclays and is turning to innovative digital measures to protect guests and staff.

The hotel was unable to welcome guests between late March and July, impacting its bottom line.

The UK government-backed loan from Barclays provides a much-needed injection of liquidity to support it through the lockdown and help it invest in new measures to thrive as normality returns.

The 11-bedroom hotel and 8-bedroom lodge is preparing to open its doors on 1st August and has invested in a number of initiatives to ensure both guest and staff safety.

The biggest shift has seen the hotel migrating all check-ins and payments online, with orders for breakfast and dinner to be placed via an app.

During lockdown, Uig Hotel owners Billy and Anne Harley, along with members of the hotel team and volunteers, prepared over 5,500 meals for the local community as part of the Uig Community Trust’s ‘Uig Community Meals’ scheme.

To add to the unusual circumstances, a merchant vessel ran aground near Uig in March and the hotel was chosen as the base for the salvage team for a period of seven weeks.

Owner of the Uig Hotel, Billy Harley, said: “Not being able to trade as normal has had a big impact on our family-run business.

“The loan from Barclays provides vital cashflow and we’ve been able to invest in new measures to give peace of mind that the Uig Hotel is a safe place to come and stay now that restrictions have been lifted.

“The wellbeing of our guests and our staff is paramount which is why all staff are fully trained in Covid health and safety procedures. We’ve worked hard behind the scenes to ensure we are able to welcome guests once again.”