Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Places and Spaces public consultation

Places and Spaces public consultation
25 September 2017

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

Part of the Kirkwall THI project, ‘Places and Spaces’, has been developed with the input of the Kirkwall and St Ola Community Council and the Kirkwall Business Improvement District (BID), with other community groups contributing ideas.

Spencer Rosie from the Orkney Heritage Society chairs the KTHI (Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative) Partnership. He said: “We are now over half way through the life of the Project and the Kirkwall THI has already delivered improvements to a number of buildings in the town centre.

“But improving buildings is only part of the picture - an important part of conserving historic areas is making sure they are places of activity, so that local economies thrive and buildings stay in use.

“The Places and Spaces project aims to help achieve this.”

Proposals include:

  • Providing better paths and seating near the War Memorial to enhance it as a place to stop and reflect on the significance of the monument.
  • Improving the area around Spence’s newsagents to help draw people into Victoria Street.
  • Improving the area at the bottom of the Strynd and top of Castle Street for people and creating space for signage and information.

The Kirkwall THI team is also looking at signage, wayfinding and interpretation throughout the town centre.

The Kirkwall THI team have produced a video about the Places and Spaces project which can be viewed on the Council’s Youtube channel. (Click here to view the video.)

Eddy Ross, Chairman of the Kirkwall branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland said: “Providing a path to the war memorial from Broad Street will help improve the setting of the memorial as well as improving access, especially on formal occasions.”

Richard Ritch, project manager for the Kirkwall THI, said: “These ideas have been developed from the bottom up with community groups involved who identified three key areas of the town where it was felt improvements could be made.

“We’d like members of the public to come along to the consultation event and tell us whether they support the proposals.”

Members of the public can find out more about the proposals when they are shown for the very first time in the Foyer of the Kirkwall Town Hall on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October between 11:30am and 4.30pm each day, where KTHI staff will be available to talk through the proposals.

The Kirkwall THI has a pot of money of around £650k available for works.

The KTHI is a £3.5m project aimed at enhancing the heritage of Kirkwall. It's 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.