Events next week will provide an opportunity to find out more about the proposed Harbours Masterplan for Orkney.
The drop-in sessions mark the start of a consultation on the draft plan – with feedback encouraged at the events and online.
They take place:
The purpose of the masterplan is to provide a framework for the development and transformation of Orkney’s harbours over a 20-year period.
It will enable the Harbour Authority to make informed decisions to meet changing markets, grow new markets, and safeguard Orkney’s harbours as essential economic drivers and community assets for future generations.
Further diversification and growth in harbour activities is envisaged to safeguard existing jobs, create many more and strengthen the viability and sustainability of the local community for the longer term, helping ensure that Orkney remains an attractive place to live, work and do business.
Brian Archibald, Orkney Islands Council’s Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transport, said: “The ports and harbours around Orkney have been the lifeblood of the islands over many generations.
“As a major economic driver and source of employment for the current and future prosperity of the islands, it is vital that the harbours, its infrastructure and its business plans are developed in order to support and capitalise upon a very wide range of emerging diverse marine opportunities across a range of sectors and industries. These include renewable energy, oil and gas, marine tourism and aquaculture.
“In order to capitalise upon such opportunities and to future proof the economic prosperity of Orkney and consolidate current business activity to ensure sustainable growth, a ports masterplan has been devised. The aim is to review infrastructure capability and potential future development to ensure that in a highly competitive ports market place, against significant competition across such sectors from competing ports, that Orkney is equipped to deliver what is required to underpin its economic success.
“Most of the ports and harbours across Scotland, many of which are not even islands based, are reviewing their current and future capability to deliver a diverse range of infrastructure and services, and some have already commenced with innovative masterplans to gain that competitive edge. Without a masterplan, Orkney will be left behind as others develop for the future.”
The consultation is for Phase 1 of the plan, which mostly covers the larger revenue generating projects around Scapa Flow, Kirkwall/Hatston, with consideration also of Stromness and Lyness.
A second phase is also planned which will cover the smaller piers and harbours as well as internal ferry links.
Paper copies are be available to view at OIC customer services in Kirkwall and Stromness, at the Orkney Library and on the Mobile Library van.
Brian Archibald added: “This is your opportunity to work with us in helping to develop a Harbours Masterplan that will facilitate future investment and development opportunities in the area for the benefit of the wider community.”
Views and ideas can be sent by email to email@example.com or posted to Orkney Islands Council, Marine Services, Harbour Authority Building, Scapa, Orkney, KW15 1SD. These should be sent by Monday 22 July 2019.