The closure of Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum is to be extended into 2019.
The museum is undergoing a major capital improvement and refurbishment project with completion expected in early 2020.
Whilst the museum is closed, temporary displays of some of the artefacts have been set up at the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall, and plans are also well under way for a comprehensive temporary exhibition in alternative premises at Lyness.
The temporary exhibition in Lyness will enable visittiors to continue to learn about the role that Lyness and Scapa Flow played during both World Wars and it is hoped that this exhibition will include digital content including a 360 degree record of the main museum site and former exhibitions, local stories and voices from the Fortress Orkney project, plus digital presentations showcasing recent research.
Peter Diamond is the Head of Lifelong Learning and Inclusion. He said: “This refurbishment is an important strategic, unique and complex project, encapsulating the complete renovations of three distinct listed buildings as well as a whole new build, which will house a modern museum standard exhibition space, enhancement of interpretation and displays, café and further site wide improvements.
“It is important that sufficient time is allocated at this crucial design stage to get the detail right, so that the project can fulfil its potential of providing a high quality visitor experience and importantly safeguarding the buildings and provision for this important collection for many years to come. The extended closure will also allow us to justify investing in a temporary display that will be sufficiently comprehensive and attractive to continue to attract visitors to Lyness and Hoy.”
Museum staff will also be continuing to deliver guided walks around the Lyness Wartime Trail. These will initially be running at 11.00 every Tuesday and Thursday from 3 April, leaving from the Lyness Ferry waiting Room. Further details can be found on the Council’s website.
The refurbishment of the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum involves the restoration of the 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 museum attracts 14,000 visitors every year. The exhibitions explain the history and significance of Scapa Flow concentrating on its role in the world wars and the local legacy of these events.