Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney
Government announces £2.5 million support for Orkney pier project
28 August 2012

Convener Steven Heddle (centre) with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Vice Convener Jim Foubister

Orkney Islands Council has welcomed major financial support from the Scottish Government for a £9.2 million project to build new pier facilities in Stromness.

During a visit to Stromness, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Government is providing £2.5 million in funding for the development at Copland’s Dock.

Construction work on the new 100 metre pier will now start in the autumn and is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

An ambitious ports development strategy is underpinning Orkney’s world leading role in the development of wave and tidal energy technologies.

The Council is investing in major infrastructure projects to provide the marine renewables industry with upgraded and new-build pier and quayside facilities at three key locations throughout the islands.

The developments, at Lyness, Hatston and now Stromness, will support the trialling of technologies at EMEC, the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre, as well as the future development of commercial scale wave and tidal arrays in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters.

The new pier at Copland’s Dock is well placed for EMEC’s wave test site at Billia Croo and for commercial marine energy projects in the Pentland Firth and off the west coast of Orkney. The project has also attracted £1.8 million in support from the European ERDF fund.

At Lyness, on the island of Hoy, a former wartime naval base has undergone a comprehensive upgrade, giving it a new lease of life as a multi-purpose logistics base for the wave and tidal energy sectors. The £3 million development attracted 40 per cent support from the ERDF fund.

At Hatston Pier, near Kirkwall, work is underway on a 160-metre extension to the existing 225-metre main berthr. It is due to be completed by early 2013. This £8.4 million development has attracted £3.4 million in ERDF funding and will result in a major support and logistics base for marine energy developers.

Council Convener, Councillor Steven Heddle, said: “We welcome today’s important funding announcement from the Scottish Government and now look forward to the start of construction work in Stromness.

“Orkney has demonstrably taken a global lead in the evolution of wave and tidal energy technologies, with more devices tested in the waters around our islands than in the rest of the world put together.

“Our three ports strategy reflects the Council’s strong and continuing commitment to the marine energy sector.

 “Looking further ahead to the commercial deployment of wave and tidal arrays in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, these three ports will have a vital role to play.

"We believe that the expertise that exists in Orkney will enable us to accelerate the commercial phase of marine energy, while continuing to lead on research."

Orkney has a number of other piers and harbours throughout the islands which could provide further support for the sector in future, as facilities for the servicing and maintenance of wave and tidal devices.