The next stage of street improvements in Kirkwall's town centre will get underway next Wednesday (6 Feb).
Works will be moving from outside the TSB to the entrance to Albert Street, meaning the street will be closed to all traffic from Laing Street to Broad Street. It's anticipated this work will take four weeks to complete.
Businesses in the immediate vicinity have been advised of the work by the contractor and pedestrian access will be maintained.
Waste and recycling collections will continue to be carried out as usual.
The current one way system means drivers can turn into Castle Street from Junction Road and on into Broad Street but vehicles do not have access from Palace Road into Broad Street. A signed diversion via Clay Loan is in place. In addition, vehicles cannot turn into Castle Street from Albert Street – but can drive on into Broad Street.
The works are part of the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative’s (KTHI) Places and Spaces project.
The key aspects of the Place and Spaces project are to:
The works at the top of Castle Street will see new paving and road surfacing laid, and the road surface raised to pavement level.
This initial phase of the project is due for completion early May after which works will be suspended for the main summer season.
Work will move to the entrance to Victoria Street in the autumn, with work being suspended again in December for Christmas shopping season.
The Places and Spaces initiative was developed alongside community groups such as the Kirkwall and St Ola Community Council and the Kirkwall BID who identified key areas of the town where it was felt improvements could be made. Proposed improvements were the positively received by the Orkney community during a two day consultation period, where 68% of those who attended said they supported the proposals, 18% were against and the rest were undecided.
The Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative is a five year heritage-based grant scheme which seeks to deliver sustainable improvements to the built heritage of the Kirkwall Conservation Area, in an effort to regenerate the centre of Kirkwall for the benefit of local communities and businesses, as well as to attract visitors. The scheme has been running since July 2014 and will conclude in June. It's primarily funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Orkney Islands Council. The streetscape improvements have also received additional funding from Transport Scotland, through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links Fund.