Meet the Team
Jacqui Wallace (Chair)
Jacqui moved to Knoydart in 1992, raised 3 children and has worked for Kilchoan Estate since around 1997. Jacqui's key role in the development of the Estate over the last 20 years, and its day-to-day management, means she brings many key skills to the steering group including time management, problem solving, public relations, using initiative, record keeping, finances and line management. Jacqui has also devoted a lot of her personal time to community endeavours, including being co-founder of the Knoydart Music Festival which ran between 2009-2013, and acting as a director for Knoydart Foundation for five years, three of those as Chair.
Rhona Miller (Co-chair)
Semi retired and local resident of 33 years. Rhona set the bench mark back in 1999 with the community buy-out forming what is now the Knoydart Foundation. With all her efforts to the buy-out, local events and fund-raising she was nominated “woman of the year” for her achievements.
Having been manager of the Old Forge for ten years at the peak of its success, she is very keen to be a part of its journey once again.
Jo Firminger (Treasurer)
Jo qualified as a Management Accountant in the 1980’s and quickly realised she loved working with small businesses. She spent the 1990’s working as a personal business advisor for the Government's Business Advisory Service, and then set up a successful engineering business with her husband. In 2019 they moved to Knoydart and are keen to use their skills to help the community prosper. Jo would love to see a community buyout of the pub and volunteered to be on the steering committee where her financial management experience will be a valuable asset for pursuing the purchase of the pub and in its future management.
Jane Hollowood (Secretary)
Jane’s background is in recruitment in the entertainment industry. She opened her own business in 1998, which she still works for remotely from her home in Inverie, dealing with contracts and finance. She moved to Knoydart in 2020 with her partner following renovation of the cottage they now live in. Since moving here they have both been keen to be of use to the community and have been very supportive of the buyout of The Old Forge. “Having the pub open and busy again makes such a difference to the village, both socially and economically. It’s a valuable asset at the heart of our community which needs to be cherished
Audrey, her husband and 2 young sons moved to Knoydart in 2019.
With over 15 years experience in funding, Audrey supports groups to develop and deliver heritage and community focussed projects, including acquiring and renovating buildings to give them a viable future.
Audrey also has property management and project management experience, and from growing up in a rural island pub also has knowledge of the trade.
Isla has a background in setting up a hospitality business, Knoydart Pottery and Tearoom, and running it with her sister since 2008. She worked for the Old Forge which helped fund her way through college as well as learn valuable skills about the trade. She has an 8 year old son and is the Chair of the newly renovated Knoydart Community Hall. Isla was a key player in the fundraising of the hall and helped lead a successful crowdfunding campaign which brought in £30,000 to the project. She knows how valuable the Old Forge is to the local and wider community having grown up here.
Co-owner of Knoydart Hide and Knoydart House self-catering accommodations, Jackie has experience of commercial and business law, contracts and conveyancing having practiced law in the Highlands. She is also a committee member for Knoydart Hall and was involved in fundraising for the recent refurbishment. Jackie was the previous co-owner of the Forge from 1994-2013 with her husband Ian. Jackie is "committed to enabling the community to acquire The Old Forge and run it as a sustainable and profitable community asset that nurtures local employment opportunities and can resume as a year round asset for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone."
Uilleam O'Neill (Bar Manager)
Will has lived on Knoydart full time since 2012. Before moving to Knoydart he worked in several pubs in Glasgow both behind the bar and in the kitchens, and made his way up to management position as part of a team running the Halt Bar.
“I grew up around small community pubs and know the benefits of having one for a small community. I have seen so many pubs lost over the years, so when I heard we could have a chance at saving The Old Forge I had to get involved.“
Davie Newton (Project Manager)
Davie has worked most of his life as a joiner with small excursions into university life and community development. As well as building lots of houses Davie worked as the Local Development Officer on Knoydart for a number of years and has played a vital role as a volunteer for Knoydart Community Hall including during the recent redevelopment and extension project.
Davie becomes the CBS's first employee, taking on a two year part-time post to oversee the physical redevelopment works as outlined in the CBS's business plan.
Stephanie Harris (Business Development Manager)
Having grown up on Knoydart, Steph has been surrounded by and involved in community ownership for most of her life, and it is something she is very passionate about. Steph moved back home four years ago after a stint in Glasgow for university, and since then has volunteered for various community organisations. Her longest volunteering effort has been with Knoydart Hall where she focussed on communications, digital marketing and social media. She is also the founder of Visit Knoydart and is the current Chair of South Knoydart Community Council. Steph says "I am really excited to be a part of this venture and wanted to offer my skills in any way that would be useful."
We are also supported by a small army of additional volunteers from within the community, and representatives from Community Shares Scotland and Plunkett Foundation.