Hillswick Shop - Update

Published on: Oct 26, 2023

The boards of NCDC and the Hillswick Shop are aware that the shop is the subject of some discussion within the community.

It is important that everyone is kept informed about their community shop and we have put together some questions and answers which you can see below.

Don’t hesitate to contact Bob McGeady, chair of NCDC (tel no 01806 533242) or the NCDC office (tel no 01806 544222) if you want more information – they’ll be happy to speak to you.


   Hillswick Shop FAQs

   Who owns the Hillswick Shop?

NCDC owns the shop. In 2009, at the request of the community, NCDC purchased the shop premises and helped with setting up the shop board.  There were several ways the shop could have operated, and the board decided to become a subsidiary company of NCDC.

   What position is the shop in financially?

The shop can continue to trade and pay its staff and suppliers.

  • In common with all other small rural retailers, the shop has in recent years faced the challenges of competition from loss-leading supermarket deliveries, the cost of living crisis, and increases in energy costs.
  • As a trading subsidiary of a charity (NCDC) it has in past years donated its profits to NCDC.  The shop therefore has not retained capital to support itself during difficult trading conditions. 
  • NCDC has invested some money to support the shop in the short term while the Hillswick shop board reviews its business plan and looks at how it can sustain the shop in the long term.
  • Across the period NCDC has been involved, the shop has paid over more in gift aid to NCDC than NCDC has invested in the shop.

   What is the shop’s biggest challenge right now?

Recruiting enough staff.  Like many businesses in Shetland  at the moment, the shop is struggling to recruit enough staff  to support its current opening hours.  In the short term,        board members are volunteering for shifts and the shop is running on minimum staffing.

   What can I do to help?

There are a number of ways you can help:-

  • Choose to use your local shop when you can.  This will help to keep the shop sustainable.
  • Apply for a job if you have some time.  Just a few hours each week or month could make the difference .
  • Volunteer.  If you don’t want a paid job but have some free time, consider volunteering.
  • Get involved.  A public meeting will be called soon to discuss how the community sees the future of the shop. Come along and have your say.