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.
A total of 146 of people – all of them Orkney residents - completed a questionnaire at the two drop-in days in October (on the 6th and 7th) indicating their level of support for proposals for the head of Castle Street, head of Victoria Street, and the War Memorial path.
Ninety-five per cent of them strongly supported or supported proposals for the War Memorial, to create a path up from the steps at Broad Street and widen pathways along the cemetery wall leading to the monument.
Around 68% strongly supported or supported the proposals at the heads of Castle Street and Victoria Street, aimed at drawing pedestrians into and between the two areas.
Detailed comments given by the Orkney public about ideas, during and after the drop-ins, have also been collated by the team.
Richard Ritch, project manager for the Kirkwall THI, said: “Firstly, we’d repeat our thanks to everyone who gave their time to come and speak to us about these ideas.
“The two drop-ins were well publicised in advance and we were flat out over the two days talking people through the thinking behind the plans.
“We have some really good feedback and comments – including from people who weren’t supportive of all aspects of the proposals – which will help us as the project progresses.
“The proposals reflect around 18 months of speaking with the Kirkwall BID, the Kirkwall and St Ola Community Council and other community groups. This meant ideas were developed from the bottom up, about areas of the town that people felt could be improved.
“It’s especially heartening to see the almost universal support for the proposals for the War Memorial path – it’s a special place to many local people and visitors alike. Folk who came along to the drop-ins and talked through the plans with us were very supportive of the idea of providing more space and seating for people to linger and reflect.
“The good level of support for the proposals at the other two sites I think reflects the public’s desire to see as much done as possible to support and promote the town and its heritage.”
The Kirkwall THI has a pot of money of around £650,000 available for works for the Places and Spaces ideas.
A detailed report on the consultation will be discussed at Orkney Islands Council’s Policy and Resources Committee in late November.
The KTHI is a £3.5 million project aimed at enhancing the heritage of Kirkwall. It is primarily funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Orkney Islands Council. The scheme has been running since July 2014 and will conclude in June 2019.
To date, 36 property grants have been agreed. That’s £1,666,962 of KTHI grant – supporting an additional £1,887,791 of private investment into Kirkwall’s historic buildings.