Additional Funding Boost for Scapa Flow Museum

The Scapa Flow Museum at Lyness is to get an additional funding boost towards its extensive refurbishment.

Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) is providing £15,000, with a further £10,161 awarded by the Island of Hoy Development Trust (IoHDT).

Lyness Museum

Aerial view of the Lyness Museum Hoy courtesy of OIC

The overall project involves the restoration of historic buildings, the enhancement of interpretation and displays, and the creation of a new building which will house an exhibition space, café, toilet facilities and information areas.

The MGS funding will be used to purchase specialist audio-visual equipment and commission a film which will help tell the story of Scapa Flow and Orkney’s role in the two world wars. This will form a major new exhibit in the Second World War oil tank that forms part of the museum.

John McLeish, interim Chief Executive Officer of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“Museums Galleries Scotland is pleased to be able to support these ambitious plans for the redevelopment of the Scapa Flow Museum. We were impressed at the innovative approach to interpreting Orkney’s wartime role which makes the most of the museum’s unusual spaces.”

The island of Hoy was of vital importance during both world wars and was a refuelling station for the ships of the Royal Navy. The museum, housed in the original pumping station contained unique artefacts from the history of that period.

Located within walking distance of the ferry terminal it is extremely popular with visitors and locals alike. The Lyness naval cemetery is also close by.

The museum will be closed until March 2020 while the redevelopment takes place however a temporary exhibition is at the Hoy Hotel at Lyness  and there are guided walks. (see end of article for information)

The Hoy Development Trust is supporting this and also funding the installation of touch-screen computers, which will give visitors a 360-degree virtual tour of the main museum buildings and site, showcase museum exhibits and stories, and highlight some of the latest research into Scapa Flow and its history.

Keith Dobney of the IoHDT said:

“The IoHDT is delighted to support the Scapa Flow Museum in helping maintain its public outreach and engagement activities during its redevelopment and refurbishment phase. The wartime heritage of Hoy is a unique part of the Island’s more recent history, something that still links us to families across the world through those many men and women that were once stationed here or simply passed through.  The museum remains a key partner in IoHDT’s “Legacies of Conflict” project and is a valuable shared educational and economic resource that the residents of Hoy are proud to support.”

The redevelopment of the museum has been awarded up to £1.155 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Funding has also been provided by Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the LEADER programme and Orkney Islands Council.

Local councillor Rob Crichton, who is also chair of the Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee, said:

“The new funding from Museums Galleries Scotland and the Isle of Hoy Development Trust is very welcome.

“It is heartening to see continuing support for this important project at national and local level. The two organisations are funding exciting new developments for the museum – and offering a taste of things to come when the restoration is complete.”

Guided Walks: 

A guided walk around the remains of the former Royal Naval Base at Lyness takes place at 11:00 each Tuesday and Thursday, starting on Tuesday 3 April 2018 – meet outside the Ferry Waiting Room at Lyness. The two hour walk is mainly on the road and includes a visit to the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness.

The walk cost £5 and as places are limited, booking is advised – please email:

 or telephone 01856791300.

Group bookings (8-16 people) can be arranged for other times – please enquire using the contact details above.


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