By Karen Peattie

A HIGHLAND hospitality group says it has become the first of its kind in the region to be accredited under the Real Living Wage scheme.

Cru Holdings – which operates six bars and restaurants across the Highlands – has pledged to provide all staff with a wage that covers the true cost of living. The Real Living Wage is independently calculated each year, and exceeds the Government’s National Living Wage.

Director Scott Murray said: “The wellbeing of our staff has always been a top priority for Cru Holdings, but the last 18 months have really made us look at new ways that we can support our team through unprecedented times.”

Noting that Cru Holdings had held a review into all aspects of its business at all levels, he said: “Alongside an average 10-15 per cent salary increase across the board, we have added enhanced benefits and guaranteed a maximum working week to ensure everyone has the chance for some much-needed downtime.”

Mr Murray added: “These new initiatives would never have been possible without the support of our incredible customers, who have got behind all of our bars and restaurants post-lockdown.

“We know that not all businesses are as fortunate as we are in such a volatile time. However, our success is thanks to the hard work of all our team – and we’re delighted to be sharing that success with them.”

Cru Holdings employs over 100 staff across its venues in Inverness and Nairn, and employs people of all ages and backgrounds with a passion for food and drink.

Its premises include Prime, Bar One, Scotch & Rye, The Classroom, The Angels’ Share and The Keg.