The Council's Marine Services have appointed port planning specialists to prepare a masterplan for Orkney Harbour areas.
The appointed specialists are Fisher Associates, a company with a long international track record and extensive experience providing specialist consultancy in the maritime and related sectors.
The masterplan will shape the harbour authority’s strategic planning for the medium to long term.
It will establish a framework for the future growth and development of the harbour business, including future opportunities for oil and gas support, offshore decommissioning and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) distribution.
As well as maintaining and retaining lifeline port services for island communities, Orkney’s 29 ports and harbours support a diverse range of economic sectors and activities including oil and gas, ship-to-ship transfers, cruise ship tourism, marine renewable energy, ferry services, marine transportation, commercial fishing, aquaculture and recreation.
Brian Archibald is Harbour Master and OIC’s Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transportation. He said: "We were looking for specialists with skills in the fields of port and harbour development planning and marine infrastructure who could carry out a range of key tasks including economic appraisal, business planning, environmental and sustainability appraisal and assessment, land use planning, and stakeholder and community engagement. Fisher Associates tick these boxes and we are looking forward to working with them.
"The masterplan will take forward an integrated approach to port and harbour development planning, working closely with the planning authority, the roads authority, other relevant statutory bodies, local economic development agencies, and other interest groups."
Chris Fisher, Director of Fisher Associates, added: “We are delighted to be appointed to assist Orkney Islands Council's Marine Services with this commission. It will build on our track record of developing harbour masterplans and business plans in Scotland and overseas, and we are looking forward to meeting the challenge of preparing this important framework for Orkney."