Two projects have been awarded funding from the local LEADER fund - with time is running out for other projects looking to secure support from the fund.
The first - to Lower Cottiscarth, an organic beef and sheep farm in Rendall - is a £75,000 award for farm diversification for the establishment of self-catering accommodation.
The proposed accommodation will be targeted at bird watchers, nature lovers and (in winter) those interested in enjoying the area’s 'dark skies'. The Cottiscarth and Rendall Moss RSPB reserve is situated on the farmed hill land and is renowned for hen harriers and merlin.
The funding will contribute towards the building of a three-bedroomed unit and two two-bedroomed unit, each fully wheelchair accessible.
The second is a £37,000 award to Orkney Sailing Club, for the establishment of a fleet of boats that can be used by existing, new and prospective members for training and racing.
The club, which celebrates its 130th Anniversary in 2019, is currently establishing a programme of activities to promote and increase sailing in Orkney through improving accessibility to the sport and enhancing the facilities and opportunities available to its existing and new members.
The new fleet of dinghies will be made available to the community to engage in sailing without having to purchase their own equipment, ensuring that sailing in Orkney is as accessible as possible.
Considerable demand has been indicated for the remaining LEADER funds, with a large number of projects indicating they wish to come forward for the 29 November 2018 deadline.
To fit with this deadline all those who have not submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) must do so by 30 September 2018.
Phyllis Harvey is Orkney Islands Council's EU Liaison Officer. She said: "Projects coming forward for the 29 November deadline will be considered by the Local Action Group (LAG) on 6 February 2019.
“Due to the Brexit deadline all applications must have received and returned their letter of offer to the Council by 29 March 2019. It would therefore be preferable if all requirements such as match funding, planning permission etc are in place by the time of the LAG.
"Applications which are recommended for approval on 6 February, but still have outstanding issues such as confirmation of match funding, planning permission, and completion of the necessary procurement process, will have to have these in place by 28 February 2019 at the very latest.
"As this is less than six months away, applicants need to consider now if these timescales are achievable when considering if they are taking their project forward."