Kirkwall THI – next phase announced

Kirkwall THI – next phase announced
19 August 2019

The second phase of street improvement works in Kirkwall’s town centre is due to get underway at the beginning of September.

The works include new paving outside the Orkney Museum, a new parking area outside the former Spence’s newsagent and new paving into Victoria Street.

This will take place from September until February, with work suspended through the whole of December to support shopping on the street during the festive period. Free parking of up to one hour will apply as usual in metered car parks over the winter period.

Tankerness Lane will be closed to vehicles throughout the works, with one-way systems in place at various times on Broad Street and Palace Road - with Victoria Street closed to vehicles for approximately five weeks from 6 January 2020.

Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout.

A Newsletter with further details is available from the 'Related Downloads' section of this page. Regular updates on the project will be given via the OIC Updates Facebook page. Businesses in the area will be visited by the project team and the contractor to discuss any issues and residents will also receive regular updates.

The works are part of the Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative’s (KTHI) Places and Spaces project.

The key aspects of the Place and Spaces project are to:

  • Improve the area at the bottom of the Strynd and top of Castle Street.
  • Provide a new path to the War Memorial to enhance it as a place to stop and reflect on the significance of the monument.
  • Improve the head of Victoria Street to encourage more people into this part of the town.

Depute Council Leader, Councillor Leslie Manson, said: “The works carried out in Kirkwall’s town centre through our Townscape Heritage Initiative Scheme have given our streets and buildings a much-needed new lease of life, whether that be improvements to the shop fronts or the attractive new paving at the head of Broad Street.

“This latest phase is aimed at improving the entrance to Victoria Street to encourage more shoppers and visitors to take a wander down this street – a long held aspiration of the businesses that are situated there.

“There will of course be some inevitable disruption, but we’ve worked hard to ensure that this is kept to a minimum, including suspending works for the Christmas period. I look forward to seeing the improvements that are made and the effect these have on our historic streets.”

The initial phase of the project was completed in early May after which works were suspended for the main summer season.

The Places and Spaces initiative was developed alongside community groups such as the Kirkwall and St Ola Community Council and the Kirkwall BID, which identified key areas of the town where it was felt improvements could be made. Proposed improvements were the positively received by the Orkney community during a two-day consultation period, where 68% of those who attended said they supported the proposals, 18% were against and the rest were undecided.

The Kirkwall Townscape Heritage Initiative is a five-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 the town for the benefit of local communities and businesses, as well as to attract visitors.

Now in its closing stages, the scheme has been running since July 2014. It's primarily funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Orkney Islands Council. The streetscape improvements have also received additional funding from Transport Scotland, through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links Fund.

As part of the process to temporally close a road, all emergency services will be informed and alternative access arrangements put in place.

These routes are subject to minor changes during each section to allow works to progress. All routes will be clearly signed, separated by cones or fenced off.

To discuss the project please contact Jackie Thomson, Strategic Development and Regeneration, Orkney Islands Council, on 01856 873535.

Related Downloads


School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

Email: customerservice@orkney.gov.uk

Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS