Orkney Islands Council has welcomed the award of £260,000 in support from the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) for a major upgrade of the Point of Ness campsite in Stromness.
The funding has been announced by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG).
The Point of Ness project includes 19 new hard standing pitches for campervans, motorhomes and caravans, a comprehensive overhaul of the site’s toilet and shower facilities, installing solar panels and ground source heating to provide sustainable energy for the site, and much improved chemical waste disposal facilities.
The Council will contribute £97,000 towards total project costs of £357,000, using funding OIC receives from the Crown Estate in support of initiatives that benefit coastal communities.
“A complete makeover for the Point of Ness site is a long-standing ambition for the Council,” said OIC Leader and Stromness and South Isles councillor James Stockan.
“The site has a stunning location, but the current facilities are showing their age. I welcome the funding we’ve been awarded – it will help us to greatly improve the experience for visitors, making Point of Ness a must-stay destination for folk travelling in Orkney with caravans, motorhomes and campervans.”
The Council has also been awarded a further £35,000 in recovery funding through a new RTIF pilot programme to support the development of a Strategic Tourism Infrastructure Development Plan for Orkney.
The idea is to develop a set of prioritised proposals for key projects, both physical and digital, that would enhance the visitor experience, encourage people to stay longer and visit more areas of Orkney, and allow better management of tourism across the islands for the benefit of all.
“The funding awarded to the Council for both initiatives will provide a welcome boost as our tourism sector recovers from the impact of the pandemic,” added Councillor Stockan.
“Both will make an important contribution as we work alongside partner organisations on measures to encourage responsible, sustainable tourism for the benefit of our visitors and our local communities alike.
“We will consult widely on the development plan and will be encouraging views and ideas from organisations, groups and folk from across our islands.”
* STERG consists of COSLA, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, and VisitScotland.