Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

About Us - Kirkwall Townscape Initiative

The Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative is a 5 year heritage-based grant scheme which seeks to deliver sustainable improvements to the built heritage of the Kirkwall Conservation Area, in an effort to regenerate the centre of Kirkwall for the benefit of local communities and businesses, as well as to attract visitors. The scheme has been running since July 2014 and will conclude in June 2019.

How much is the total grant award?

The overall budget for the scheme is £3.445 million, which is primarily being provided by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and Orkney Islands Council.

What is the funding spent on?

The available funding can be spent on:

  • Grants for property owners to bring vacant space within the Kirkwall Conservation Area back into use.
  • Grants for property owners for building repairs or restoration of architectural detail within the Kirkwall Conservation Area.
  • Grants for works to the public realm, a term to describe the streets and open spaces within the town, focusing on the area around the St Magnus Cathedral and strengthening the links with Victoria Street.
  • Training and complementary initiatives, to promote knowledge, skills and involvement in the care of the built heritage.
  • Staff costs and overheads for the management of the scheme.

Why does the THI give money to properties in the conservation area?

Construction techniques have changed over time, however, the materials and techniques used on a modern structure may not be appropriate for use on a traditional building. If modern materials are used to repair and adapt old stone buildings with solid stone walls, there can be long-term problems such as dampness, mortar decay and stone decay.

To help ensure a traditional property remains ‘healthy’ and therefore will stand for years to come, the property should be repaired using historically accurate materials and techniques, however, this can sometimes have an increased cost.

Click on the Contact Us link to contact members of the Kirkwall THI team.

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