Residents of Stromness have put up with many inconveniences over the last few years whilst their town has had an extensive makeover:
- Repaving the main street in Stromness in local stone.
- Construction of the landmark Warehouse Building.
- Paving and redevelopment of the wider pierhead area.
- Grants for private householders and businesses to help traditional repairs and refurbishment through the Stromness THI.
- Redevelopment by the Council of the Commercial Hotel through the Stromness THI.
The regeneration project has now received the recognition it deserves. Orkney Islands Councils planners working with the community of Stromness have secured a prestigious award for the transformation in the town which has taken 10 years to achieve.
The Planners have won the Silver Jubilee Cup, at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018 held in London. It also won in the Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy category.
12 major projects were implemented across the town, including new and upgraded public spaces, new shops and businesses and a new primary school.
A new library in the centre of the town, at the community’s request – to ensure it was accessible to everyone.
A new fishing pier was built with European funding, and new business and industrial spaces were allocated near the pier.
The council have also begun work for a new international research facility and infrastructure for tidal and wave energy generation.
Council planners worked closely with the community and involved them from the very start, using a ‘blank page approach’ to establish the community’s key priorities.
Using this, a draft plan was drawn up, which was then shaped by community events, meetings and surveys, plus well attended community workshops.
Craig McLaren FRTPI, RTPI Awards Advisor said:
“Stromness has been regenerated over the past 10 years through a comprehensive, plan-led strategy. It was spearheaded by the council’s planners who were key to its success through establishing a vision for the town and ensuring commitment from other players to help deliver it. The dramatic before and after photographs show just how profound the transformation has been. This remarkable ‘place-based’ approach could be used as a blueprint to revive declining towns across the country.”
OIC Director of Development and Infrastructure Gavin Barr said:
“I am immensely proud of this because the core of this project was the cross service collaboration of a range of professionals, the strong leadership from elected members and also, critically the sustained partnership with the Stromness community in progressing this work over several years.”
Stromness Councillor and Leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan, said:
“Team Stromness and all it brought to our town was a dedicated, passionate, concerted and coordinated effort to bring about rejuvenation and regeneration to Stromness, building on the history and spirit of the town as a thriving economic and cultural hub. This latest accolade, on the back of scooping the top award in Scotland back in November, is a reflection of the dedication shown by our multi-disciplinary team.
“There are even more exciting times ahead for Stromness as we see further investment come to fruition including the multi-million pound Orkney Research and Innovation Campus project and a new care home for our oldest townsfolk. Stromness is now firmly on the map as a premier place to live, work, and do business and I am delighted to call it home.”
The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society. This year saw a nearly record number of entrants and the judges shortlisted 78 finalists across 13 categories.
Excellence in Plan Making Practice
Towards a Stamford Hill Plan
Submitted by: London Borough of Hackney
West of England Partnership
Submitted by: West of England Joint Spatial Plan
Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy
Submitted by: Orkney Islands Council
Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing
Seaham Harbour Marina – Water Sports Activity Centre
Submitted by: Durham County Council
Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture
Stanton Moor Principles
Submitted by: Peak District National Park Authority
Depot, Lewes Community Screen
South Downs National Park Authority & Burrell Foley Fischer Architects and Urban Designers
Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment
Caeau Mynydd Mawr SPG and March Fritillary Project
Submitted by: Camarthenshire County Council
Excellence in Planning to Deliver Homes – large schemes
Submitted by: Plymouth City Council
Bourne Estate Regeneration
Tibbalds and London Borough of Camden
Excellence in Planning to Deliver Homes – small schemes
Enfield Small Sites
Submitted by: HTA Design LLP
International Award for Planning Excellence
Economic and Urban Multi-site Development Project
Submitted by: INTA
In-house Planning Team of the Year
HTA Design LLP
Local Authority Planning Team of the Year
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
Teignbridge District Council
Small Planning Consultancy of the Year
Situ8 Planning Consultancy
Urban Imprint Ltd
Planning Consultancy of the Year
Deloitte Real Estate
Young Planner of the Year
Heather Claridge, Glasgow City Council
Charlotte Morphet, London Borough of Waltham Forest