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Atlantic58 and Isle of Harris Distillers have scooped top prizes in this year’s Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards.

The awards celebrate Highlands and Islands business excellence and recognise the winners’ contribution to a prosperous Scotland.

Atlantic58, an environmental, ecological and project development consultancy based on the Isle of Lewis, won the  Bakkafrost Scotland Award for Outstanding Island Business.

Isle of Harris Distillers, who are on the cusp of launching their much-anticipated Hearach whisky brand, won the SCDI Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Regional Economy.

Rebecca Lovelock from Atlantic58 confessed their awards win had “taken us by surprise, and so we weren’t prepared at all.”

However, ferry disruption due to bad weather almost thwarted their big moment in Inverness. But Atlantic58 environmental consultant Gareth Gentles ultimately made the Kingsmill Hotel ceremony to collect the award on behalf of the company.

The Isle of Harris Distillers win for Outstanding Contribution to the Regional Economy comes as they put the finishing touches to their heavily-trailered first release of Hearach next Saturday (September 23).

Grant Campbell, SCDI’s Regional Manager for the Highlands & Islands, said: “A big congratulations to all the winners and also the finalists of SCDI’s 23rd Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards. The winners really do showcase the diverse nature of businesses in the Highlands & Islands and their contribution to Scotland’s economy. 

“The judging panel was really impressed to hear about the work of the nominees and the positive impact that businesses are having on the region.”