Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

OIC Press Releases

OIC News
Council welcomes vote of confidence from watchdog

Convener Harvey Johnston has welcomed the response of the Accounts Commission to an independent assessment of Orkney Islands Council.

14 December 2017
Council launches Abattoir Challenge Fund

Orkney Islands Council has announced the launch of an ‘Abattoir Challenge Fund’ to encourage the private sector to become directly involved in developing a solution to the challenge of providing sustainable abattoir services in Orkney.

11 December 2017
LEADER fund supports Destination Orkney post

Orkney's LEADER fund is to support the establishment of a Chief Executive post to lead the newly formed Destination Orkney partnership.

11 December 2017
Orkney’s young people gather for Chamber Debate

This year’s Youth Chamber Debate will take place on Monday (December 11).

08 December 2017
Road closure next week

A short section of Pickaquoy Road, Kirkwall (between Junction Road and Great Western Road), will be closed from Monday 11 December 2017 to Friday 15 December 2017 to enable some works to be carried out on behalf of Scottish Water.

08 December 2017
Traffic Controls at the Barriers

Temporary traffic controls are being put in place at Barrier No. 2 today for safety reasons, following significant storm damage yesterday.

08 December 2017
OLECG advice as storm approaches

The multi-agency Orkney Local Emergency Co-ordinating Group (OLECG) is advising the community to be prepared for severe weather conditions.

07 December 2017
Norwegian musicians visit schools ahead of Cathedral Christmas events

School pupils across mainland Orkney have been treated to special performances and workshops this week (5 – 8 December) with Norwegian musicians who are in the county ahead of the annual Christmas tree lighting festivities at St Magnus Cathedral.

07 December 2017
Council welcomes Best Value report

An independent review of Orkney Islands Council has been welcomed as constructive and positive by Chief Executive Alistair Buchan.

07 December 2017
Disruption to recycling and rubbish collections expected due to Storm Caroline

Storm Caroline is likely to bring widespread disruption to Council recycling and refuse collections over coming days.

06 December 2017
New Scapa Road Closed Next Week

New Scapa Road in Kirkwall will be closed for the whole of next week whilst final utility works are carried out at the site of the new hospital.

01 December 2017
Access Restrictions at Kirkwall Harbour next week

Access to specific areas around Kirkwall Harbour will be restricted for short periods early next week whilst work on the Council's flood prevention scheme continues.

30 November 2017
Council House Rent Setting Policy to be Updated

Orkney Islands Council's Housing Service is looking for tenant views on its updated rent setting policy.

30 November 2017
Wind project update

Orkney Islands Council’s Policy and Resources Committee has agreed that OIC should take forward the further development of a substantial wind energy project.

29 November 2017
What are you signing up for?

Orkney Islands Council is joining in this year's National Consumer Week campaign by urging consumers to be careful about what they are really signing up for.

27 November 2017
Next round of Culture Fund opens

Orkney Islands Council is inviting applications for its 2018 to 2019 Culture Fund.

27 November 2017
On this day in 1917 - Airship lost off Papay

Today (Sunday 26 November) marks 100 years since three crewmen were lost when their airship crashed off Papay at 11:40 on November 26 1917.

26 November 2017
Norwegian gift of Christmas trees arrive

Orkney Islands Council has taken delivery of two Christmas trees from Norway, for the annual tree lighting ceremony at St Magnus Cathedral.

24 November 2017
Much loved Orkney archive gains stamp of approval

Orkney’s much loved archive service has been applauded for a well-run and effective service, during a national accreditation process.

23 November 2017
Book Week Scotland Celebrations at Orkney Library and Archive

Orkney Library and Archive is holding a series of events to celebrate Book Week Scotland 2017 (November 27 to December 3).

23 November 2017
Drivers advised of continued surface water

Orkney Islands Council is advising there is surface water on roads in several locations across Orkney, following sustained rainfall in the county over the past two days.

22 November 2017
Council reminds drivers of continued risk of surface water on roads

Orkney Islands Council is advising there is surface water on roads in several locations across Orkney, following sustained rainfall in the county over the past two days.

22 November 2017
Orkney gets in the festive spirit

Orkney is getting into the festive spirit as the tree lighting season gets underway next week.

21 November 2017
Innovative approach gains national recognition for OIC

Orkney Islands Council has been awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award for Innovation’ by APSE, the Association of Public Sector Excellence, which works with more than 300 local authorities throughout the UK.

21 November 2017
Council reiterates vital need for fairer ferries funding

Orkney Islands Councillors have been meeting with the county’s constituency MSP Liam McArthur, to reiterate the risk to the local community should a fairer funding formula for Orkney’s internal ferries be left out of the Scottish Government’s budget.

20 November 2017
Focus on food waste in European Week of Waste Reduction

It’s European Week of Waste Reduction this week, and Orkney Islands Council is focusing in on food waste.

20 November 2017
Council Leader hails ferry funding talks as constructive

Orkney Islands Council's Leader Councillor James Stockan has described talks with the Scottish Government as constructive - but warned that the Council needs to strike quickly to secure additional funding on the back of this.

17 November 2017
New way to participate in decision-making

A new process has been introduced to help community groups talk to public authorities about local issues and local services.

16 November 2017
Find out about energy efficiency funding

The Council is reminding residents of funding that could help cut fuel bills and keep homes warm this winter.

16 November 2017
Council’s Empty Homes project scoops media award

A new project run by Orkney Islands Council aimed at bringing empty homes in the county back into use has won a national award for use of media, only four months after being set up.

15 November 2017
Help us shape your ActiveLife

The team behind Orkney’s ActiveLife scheme are reminding the public to help keep the scheme in good shape by passing on issues and suggestions to staff at their fitness centre.

15 November 2017
Orkney Islands Council Takes Top Honours at National Planning Awards

Orkney Islands Council scooped the top award at Scotland's national planning awards in Edinburgh last night.

09 November 2017
Cathedral to be lit poppy red

St Magnus Cathedral will be lit red at night over the weekend to help raise awareness of the annual Scottish Poppy Appeal.

09 November 2017
Farm Diversification Fund Available in Orkney

Local farmers who are considering diversifying are being encouraged to find out more about Orkney's LEADER programme.

09 November 2017
Work of young people celebrated

Young people celebrated their efforts in the community on Tuesday (7 November 2017) at the annual Orkney Youth Awards Ceremony.

08 November 2017
Big Tree Preservation Works this Week

Vital preservations works are due to be carried out on the Big Tree in Kirkwall next week.

03 November 2017
Christmas Grants open

Orkney Islands Council’s Christmas Grant scheme is now open for applications.

31 October 2017
For the Journey and the Return – new exhibition at Orkney Museum

An exhibition ‘For the Journey and Return with the Orkney Boat’ by Beatrice Searle opens on Saturday 4 November at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall.

27 October 2017
Sally Named Librarian of the Year

Orkney’s children’s librarian Sally Walker has today (Thursday 26 October) been named as Scotland’s Library and Information Professional of The Year.

26 October 2017
Your Kirkwall - Help Shape It!

A new ideas-gathering exercise will pose the question – what would you want Kirkwall to be like over the next 10 to 20 years?

26 October 2017
Cursiter recycling centre update

Members of the public are advised that although the Cursiter household waste and recycling centre has reopened for public use following temporary closure this morning to enable staff to deal with a small oil spoil, the waste oil receptacle is not in use.

25 October 2017
Duke of Gloucester visits Orkney

HRH The Duke of Gloucester visited the West Mainland of Orkney today, as part of a two-day visit to the county.

24 October 2017
Kirkwall THI consultation results

Feedback from the recent consultation on ideas for the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative’s ‘Places and Spaces’ project has been collated.

23 October 2017
Council to commission new tug

Orkney Islands Council is looking to purchase a new towage vessel.

23 October 2017
Recycling update - ex-hurricane Ophelia

Due to the high winds brought to Orkney by ex-hurricane Ophelia, yesterday's (Tuesday 17 October) recycling collections were hampered.

18 October 2017
Doors set to close for Lyness refurbishment

The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum at Lyness will close at the end of the month ahead of a major renovation project.

17 October 2017
Community Council election results published

Results for the recent Community Council elections in Orkney have been published by Orkney Islands Council.

16 October 2017
Welcome for Island Wind Announcement

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan, has welcomed the UK Government’s decision to include the Northern and Western Isles in a multi-million pounds support scheme for renewable energy.

12 October 2017
Old to New – Roads Recycled into Runways

Work starts later this week to refresh the runways at Sanday and Westray – using recycled road surface material.

12 October 2017
St Peter's Project Underway

Work has begun on a replacement for St Peter's House, with a ceremonial turf cutting taking place.

11 October 2017
Alistair’s quarter century marked

Tribute has been paid to Chief Executive Alistair Buchan’s 25 years of service with Orkney Islands Council.

11 October 2017
Homecare – a rewarding career

A film aimed at encouraging people to consider homecare as a career is being launched by Orkney Islands Council.

11 October 2017
Have you returned your community council vote?

Voters in eight community council areas in Orkney are reminded the cut-off date for returning their ballot papers to Orkney Islands Council is this Thursday, 12 October, at 17:00.

09 October 2017
Views sought on procurement policy

Orkney Islands Council is seeking views on its draft Sustainable Procurement Policy, which looks at how the Council buys goods and services in a way that benefits the local community.

09 October 2017
KGS sets traditional skills in stone

Pupils from Kirkwall Grammar School had the chance this week to try their hand traditional building skills, with help from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative (KTHI).

06 October 2017
Anchors aweigh for striking sculpture

The stunning anchor on Foreland Road, Kirkwall, designed especially for Orkney to help mark 20 years of Friends of ANCHOR – the Unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary which provides care for cancer and haematology patients - is due to be collected tomorrow (Thursday 5 October) ready to be shipped back to Aberdeen.

04 October 2017
Voice of the islands heard as Committee gathers evidence in Orkney

The Leader of Orkney Islands Council has welcomed the opportunity to put the case to MSPs for measures that will make a difference to the lives of people in island communities.

03 October 2017
Mirran at the Museum

This Saturday (7 October) sees the opening of a new exhibition of paintings, drawings and monoprints at the Orkney Museum, Tankerness House, Kirkwall, by Stromness artist Mirran Hall.

02 October 2017
Orkney's Cruise Season comes to an end

Orkney has received its final cruise call of the season.

29 September 2017
Ballot Paper reminder

Voters in Orkney are reminded that their Community Council ballot papers must be returned by October 12.

29 September 2017
Rae Freedom of Orkney ceremony this weekend

A ceremony in Stromness this weekend will bestow the Freedom of Orkney upon explorer Dr John Rae.

29 September 2017
Childcare and Social Care on the agenda at Meet the Buyer event

Local businesses are being reminded about the Council’s forthcoming ‘Meet the Buyer’ day – as the final programme for the event is announced.

29 September 2017
Council to commission new pilot vessel

Orkney Islands Council has given its approval for the purchase of a new pilot launch.

29 September 2017
Holyrood comes to Orkney to hear views on Islands Bill

The Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee will hold a public meeting in Orkney on Monday evening (2 October).

28 September 2017
Orkney’s Sustainable Energy Strategy unveiled

A Sustainable Energy Strategy for Orkney was launched as part of the official opening of the world leading Surf ‘n’ Turf project.

28 September 2017
Surf 'n' Turf hydrogen fuel cell unveiled in Orkney

The pioneering Surf 'n' Turf hydrogen community energy project has been launched in Orkney by the Scottish Government's Business, Innovation and Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse.

28 September 2017
Local groups urged to go for the ‘perfect package’ of community funding

Groups in Orkney who are looking to carry out a community based project are being urged to consider applying for Orkney Islands Council’s ‘perfect package’ of funding – the LEADER fund and the Community Development Fund.

26 September 2017
Energy saving funding available

The Council is reminding residents of funding that could help cut fuel bills and keep homes warm this winter.

25 September 2017
Places and Spaces public consultation

Ideas for highlighting Kirkwall’s heritage are being displayed to the public early next month.

25 September 2017
Sagas and stills – chance to explore Highland Park’s history

A unique opportunity to research the history of Orkney’s Highland Park Distillery is on offer at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

22 September 2017
Community Council Ballot Papers Out Next Week

Ballot papers for elections to Orkney’s community councils are being sent out to voters next week.

22 September 2017
Orkney: It’s Time to Make your Metals Matter!

Households in Orkney will now be able to recycle aerosols, kitchen foil and foil tray products as part of the fortnightly green bin collections.

22 September 2017
Be wary of uninvited sales people

Orkney Islands Council trading standards and Police Scotland have issued a warning after reports that traders visiting the area are offering machinery, tools and other goods for sale.

18 September 2017
Care Home Contract Awarded to Local Firm

The contract for the construction of the replacement St Peter's House in Stromness has been awarded to local company Orkney Builders (Contractors) Ltd.


14 September 2017
Orkney Visit for Care Review Team

Two of the team involved in an independent review of Scotland’s care system have been in Orkney to learn from the experiences of local people.

14 September 2017
Stromness Research Campus Tender Documents Available

Tender documents for the construction of a multi-million pound research and innovation campus in Stromness are to be published this week.

14 September 2017
October Launch for ActiveIslands Scheme

Folk living on Orkney's inner and outer isles are set to benefit from a new membership option under Orkney's ActiveLife scheme.

12 September 2017
New recognition for youth awards milestones

Orkney Islands Council has teamed up with the Pickaquoy Centre and Stromness Swimming Pool to reward young people completing accredited awards through youth work in the county, including Dynamic Youth and Youth Achievement. 

11 September 2017
Take care on wet roads

Orkney Islands Council’s Head of Infrastructure and Strategic Projects, Darren Richardson, has reminded motorists to drive carefully following this morning’s heavy rainfall.

11 September 2017
Increased Tourist Numbers on the Development and Infrastructure Agenda Next Week

Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee will this week (Tuesday 12 September) consider a report on the continued growth of the  tourism industry in the county.

08 September 2017
Local businesses invited to 'Meet the Buyer'

Local businesses who are interested in doing business with the public sector in Orkney are being invited to attend a 'Meet the Buyer' event next month.

08 September 2017
Deadline for community council nominations extended

The deadline for nominations from people wanting to stand for their local Community Council has been extended until 17.00 on Monday 18 September.

06 September 2017
Fiona forges ahead with art and craft makers award

Local artists and craft makers can hear from a Stromness-based metalworker, Fiona Sanderson, about how a scheme run by the Council has helped boost her skills, at a workshop this Wednesday evening (6 September).

04 September 2017
Shapinsay recycling disruption

Shapinsay residents are advised of a change to their recycling collection this week.

04 September 2017
Dedicated Halls Volunteers to Come Together for Annual Event

The dedicated volunteers who run Orkney’s halls and community centres will come together this week for the annual Halls Event. 

04 September 2017
Orkney Harbours Website Revamped

The Orkney Harbours website has been refreshed with a brand new look

01 September 2017
Travelling Gallery visits Orkney again

Scotland’s Travelling Gallery returns to Orkney next week (9 September) featuring works by artist Lauren Printy Currie.

01 September 2017
Road works in central Kirkwall

The Council will be carrying out essential repairs to Albert Street, Bridge Street and Victoria Street, Kirkwall, over the latter part of this week and next week.

29 August 2017
2017 Community Council Elections Reminder

A further call has gone out for nominations for the 2017 Community Council elections – with a reminder of some of the key projects that Orkney’s community councils have been involved in over the last few years.

25 August 2017
Special offer composters sell out in a day

A new Council initiative to help people in Orkney turn food waste into garden compost has proved a great success with a special offer on food and garden waste digesters selling out in less than 24 hours.

25 August 2017
Tenants Day for Council and OHAL householders

Orkney Islands Council and Orkney Housing Association are holding a Tenants Day on Friday 1 September.

23 August 2017
From beggars to bishops - stories from the Cathedral graveyard

Stroll through centuries of stories buried within the grounds of St Magnus Cathedral, with the help of a new self-guided tour of the graveyard.

23 August 2017
Welcome for cheaper fares announcement

Orkney Islands Council has welcomed a Scottish Government scheme to significantly reduce ferry fares on routes between the Northern Isles and mainland Scotland.

22 August 2017
Your vote matters... don’t lose it

Orkney’s electors are being asked to complete their annual Electoral Registration Household Enquiry Form.

18 August 2017
Work at school hostel

Scaffolding is being put up ahead of work to replace fascia, soffit and barge boards fitted at Papdale Halls of Residence in Kirkwall.

18 August 2017
Could you be a Community Councillor?

Elections for Orkney’s 20 Community Councils are now underway.

18 August 2017
School Journey Reminder

With pupils returning to school on Tuesday, the chair of the local Road Safety Forum is reminding local drivers to be extra vigilant on the roads.

17 August 2017
Help record the wildlife at Happy Valley

Ever wondered what’s involved in wildlife recording? Head along to a ‘Bio Blitz’ in Happy Valley this Saturday 19 August.

15 August 2017
Artists and craft makers fund reopens

A scheme aimed at helping local artists and craftspeople take their creative and business ideas to the next level is open again for applications, following renewed backing from Creative Scotland.

15 August 2017
Gas safety awareness

An initiative to promote the safe use of gas in homes and businesses is being undertaking by Orkney Islands Council’s Environmental Health Team.

11 August 2017
Road repairs in Stromness next week

There will be road closures in Stromness on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week to enable road repairs to be carried out.

09 August 2017
Exam results today for Orkney pupils

Pupils across Orkney will today (Tuesday 8 August) be receiving their examination results from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

08 August 2017
It might be summer - but get ready for cold weather ahead

The Council is advising householders to think ahead to winter – with funding available to keep homes warm and cut fuel bills.

07 August 2017
Funding awarded for harbour overhaul in Westray

Orkney Islands Council has welcomed the announcement by the Scottish Government of £1.7 million in funding towards a major upgrade of the harbour at Pierowall in Westay.

06 August 2017
Dunning’s historic achievement remembered

The first aircraft landing on the deck of a moving ship was marked today (Wednesday 2 August) in Orkney – with the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier forming an impressive background to the centenary commemoration.

02 August 2017
Scapa Flow visit planned by giant aircraft carrier

The Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier is expected to visit Scapa Flow tomorrow (Wednesday 2 August) – 100 years to the day since a plane landed on the deck of a moving ship for the first time.

01 August 2017
Flypast on centenary of Dunning’s historic landing

A new memorial to pioneering pilot Edwin Dunning will be unveiled in Orkney tomorrow (Wednesday 2 August).

01 August 2017
Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum refurbishment funding announced

Work on a major renovation of the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum in Lyness looks set to start in spring next year.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has advised Orkney Islands Council that a grant of up to £1.155 million has been approved for the project.

24 July 2017
Energy efficiency – find out if you’re eligible for funding

Are you struggling to keep your home warm during the colder weather? Would you like to cut your household fuel bills?

24 July 2017
Bishops celebrate life of St Magnus

Three archbishops and nine bishops are about to undertake an historic pilgrimage to Orkney to mark the 900th anniversary of the death of St Magnus.

21 July 2017
Landowner invitation as wind farm initiative moves forward

Landowners in Orkney are being invited to put forward possible sites for a substantial wind energy project.

21 July 2017
Naval aviation pioneer remembered 100 years on

The Royal Navy pilot who completed the first ever aircraft landing on a moving ship is to be remembered in Orkney on the 100th anniversary of his landmark achievement.

21 July 2017
Vanguard remembered at Orkney Museum

A century-old brochure marking the launch of HMS Vanguard is just one of the items on display at the Orkney Museum telling the story of the life and tragic sinking of the vessel 100 years ago.

19 July 2017
Get your child car seat checked

Orkney’s Road Safety Forum is calling for parents to visit a free car seat clinic in Kirkwall next week, to help combat common mistakes.

19 July 2017
Project to explore role of arts in health and social care

A new project that will enable users of Orkney Health and Care’s Lifestyles Service to participate in creative workshops and create a lasting work of art has received funding through the Orkney LEADER programme. 

17 July 2017
Kirbuster Museum turns 30

Kirbuster Museum, an historic farm steading dating from as early as 1595, is celebrating thirty years as a Council-run museum this weekend.

12 July 2017
Open day at biodiversity records centre

Have you been out on a walk lately and spotted an unusual creature or plant that you didn’t recognise?

12 July 2017
New Islands Council Leaders reaffirm commitment to Islands Bill

The new Leaders of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council yesterday reaffirmed their commitment to the Islands Bill at a meeting of the Islands Strategic Group chaired by Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands.

12 July 2017
‘Team Stromness’ up for planning award

The Council’s ‘Team Stromness’ scheme – a regeneration effort spanning the last ten years – has been shortlisted in this year’s Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

12 July 2017
Share your views on core paths network

Feedback is invited following a review of the Orkney’s core paths network.

10 July 2017
Commemorating centenary of Vanguard disaster

The massive loss of life when a Royal Navy battleship was blown apart at Scapa Flow was remembered today (Sunday 9 July), exactly 100 years since disaster struck HMS Vanguard.

09 July 2017
Budget setting underway as Councillors prepare for funding shortfall

Orkney’s newly elected Councillors have started the budget planning process in preparation for considerable financial challenges in the year ahead.

07 July 2017
OIC Strategic Reserve Fund performs exceptionally

Orkney Islands Council is managing its investments well, according to a recent report considered by the new Council

06 July 2017
Council takes over Pelamis device

Orkney Islands Council has taken over ownership of a Pelamis marine energy device for a nominal sum.

06 July 2017
Share your views on the core paths network

Feedback will be invited from Monday (10 July) following a review of the Orkney’s core paths network.

05 July 2017
Band looks forward to Kirkwall concert

Musicians from the Royal Marines will make a poignant return visit to Orkney this weekend, where they will play at a special concert as part of the HMS Vanguard commemorations.

04 July 2017
Senior appointments for Orkney councillors

Two of Orkney’s Councillors have been appointed to senior roles within CoSLA, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

04 July 2017
Anchor on show in support of anniversary campaign

A specially designed anchor has gone on display in Orkney to help mark the 20th anniversary of Aberdeen-based charity Friends of ANCHOR.

03 July 2017
What do you think of the library service?

The Orkney Library and Archive is looking to hear the views of local folk about the services they provide.

03 July 2017
Asking for Orkney Opinions

A new public consultation group is about to provide feedback for the first time.

03 July 2017
Building Warrant Fee Increases from 1 July 2017

Scottish Ministers advised all local authority verifiers on 29 June 2017 that the planned changes to building warrant fees will apply from 1 July 2017. Consequently charges for all building warrant related applications received on or after 1 July 2017 will be calculated in accordance with the revised Fees table.

30 June 2017
Remembering lives lost in Vanguard tragedy

Forty descendants of men who died aboard HMS Vanguard will lay wreaths above the wreck next month to mark 100 years since the ship went down.

30 June 2017
Welcome for young workforce funding

The award of £330,000 from the Scottish Government towards an initiative to help Orkney’s young people find fulfilling jobs and careers has been welcomed today (Monday 26 June).

26 June 2017
Nine projects receive LEADER backing

Nine community projects across Orkney have recently benefited from funding from Orkney’s LEADER fund.

22 June 2017
Memories of hostel life as 70th anniversary celebrated

Former residents gathered this week to mark seven decades since the opening of Orkney’s original school hostel.

21 June 2017
Potential for income generating wind farm to be looked at further by OIC

The possibility of creating a large scale wind farm as an important source of income for Orkney is to be investigated fully by the Council.

21 June 2017
Cruise competition winners

The winners have been announced of a competition offering a guided tour and lunch aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship during a visit to Orkney in July.

20 June 2017