New funding welcomed for museum project
Two new awards of funding will help support a major redevelopment project at the Scapa Flow Museum.
Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) is providing £15,000, with a further £10,161 awarded by the Island of Hoy Development Trust (IoHDT).
The overall project involves the restoration of historic buildings, the enhancement of interpretation and displays, and the creation of a new building which will house an exhibition space, café, toilet facilities and information areas.
The MGS funding will be used to purchase specialist audio-visual equipment and commission a film which will help tell the story of Scapa Flow and Orkney's role in the two world wars. This will form a major new exhibit in the Second World War oil tank that forms part of the museum.
John McLeish, interim Chief Executive Officer of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:“Museums Galleries Scotland is pleased to be able to support these ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the Scapa Flow Museum. We were impressed at the innovative approach to interpreting Orkney’s wartime role which makes the most of the museum’s unusual spaces.”
The museum is a huge draw for visitors to Hoy. It will be closed until March 2020 while the redevelopment takes place.
During that time a comprehensive temporary exhibition will be set up at the Hoy Hotel at Lyness as an attraction for people visiting Hoy and Walls.
The IoHDT is supporting this and also funding the installation of touch-screen computers, which will give visitors a 360-degree virtual tour of the main museum buildings and site, showcase museum exhibits and stories, and highlight some of the latest research into Scapa Flow and its history.
Keith Dobney of the IoHDT said: "The IoHDT is delighted to support the Scapa Flow Museum in helping maintain its public outreach and engagement activities during its redevelopment and refurbishment phase. The wartime heritage of Hoy is a unique part of the Island’s more recent history, something that still links us to families across the world through those many men and women that were once stationed here or simply passed through. The museum remains a key partner in IoHDT's "Legacies of Conflict” project and is a valuable shared educational and economic resource that the residents of Hoy are proud to support."
The redevelopment of the museum has been awarded up to £1.155 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Funding has also been provided by Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the LEADER programme and Orkney Islands Council.
Local councillor Rob Crichton, who is also chair of the Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, said: “The new funding from Museums Galleries Scotland and the Isle of Hoy Development Trust is very welcome.
“It is heartening to see continuing support for this important project at national and local level. The two organisations are funding exciting new developments for the museum – and offering a taste of things to come when the restoration is complete.”