Orkney Harbours plans sustainable future with £230m masterplan

A 20-year infrastructure improvement plan to generate jobs and additional revenue and attract new business to Orkney’s harbours has been unveiled.

Orkney Harbours said its £230 million vision will place the island at the forefront of a cleaner and greener future for Scotland.

The Harbours Masterplan aims to improve key sites, including creating a £116m deep water quay at Scapa Flow, the largest natural deep-water harbour in the northern hemisphere.

It is hoped the scheme could be funded from the Islands Growth Deal as well as from private businesses.

Initial investment would see £115.7m spent on the Scapa project, £52.8m spent at Hatston Pier, £39.9m spent at Kirkwall Pier, £15.2m for Scapa Pier and £800,000 spent at Stromness.

The Scapa Deep Water Quay would be a completely new development and would support the energy sector, such as maintenance of vessels and dealing with wind farm components. The plans also include marina and waterfront development, while others would have fuel facilities.

It is hoped phase one will have construction completed on projects within five years.

Orkney Islands Council, the statutory harbour authority, has overall responsibility for the project.

Council leader James Stockan said: “This is a business proposition - it’s not pouring government money in or pouring Orkney money in. It’s only going to be used if the business justifies the spend.

“We know that harbour jobs have huge spin-off for everybody else on the islands, and that’s the way we can make the money circulate.”

He added: “We had two world wars, we’ve had an oil industry that’s been with us for 40 years, and we have a pristine environment.

“It’s really important that we look after the environment of Scapa Flow so that it’s left in very good condition for future generations.”

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