The European Regional Development Fund has awarded Orkney Islands Council £670,000 towards a low carbon travel project in Stromness.
The project, known as the ‘Stromness Multi Modal Low Carbon Transport and Active Travel Hub’ has four key elements:
- The installation of a shore power equipment to enable the supply of ‘green’ electrical power to the MV Hamnavoe whilst in Stromness, drawing off locally produced renewable energy.
- The installation of an electric bus charger at the Ferry Terminal to open up opportunities for an electric vehicle to be used on the Stromness to Kirkwall route.
- The installation of an electric vehicle charging points for ferry users.
- The procurement of electric bicycles for use by members of the public, plus associated shelters and charging points.
Orkney Islands Council and HITRANS (Scottish Government) will also contribute to the project
Brian Archibald, Head of Marine Services, Engineering and Transport at Orkney Islands Council said:
“Orkney has an excellent reputation for low carbon and renewable energy innovation and I am delighted that this project to remove carbon from the ferry, bus and car transport modes in Stromness has been given recognition and generous financial support from the Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund.
“We very much look forward to working with colleagues across the renewable energy and transport sectors in Orkney and at HITRANS to deliver this innovative work as soon as possible.”
The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) provides finance for areas of countries in the EU who might be disadvantaged compared to others perhaps due to geographical location – as in the case of Orkney.
One of its key areas is developing a low carbon economy.
The funding for the Orkney project will come from the European Regional Development Fund’s Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund, a capital fund that aims to facilitate the delivery of active travel and low carbon hubs and paths.
Over £5.3million was awarded by ERDF and Transport Scotland to support greener travel options. There were 9 successful projects in Scotland: Angus Council, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Dundee City Council, East Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Leisure, Moray Council, Orkney Islands Council, South East of Scotland Transport Partnership and Stirling Council – Project Descriptions
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Scottish Government said:
“I welcome these nine successful and innovative projects and I am extremely encouraged to see the growth in popularity of this fund.
“£3.67m has been provided through the ERDF with another £1.65m from the Scottish Government to help realise more active travel and low carbon travel hubs across Scotland.
“A number of these projects will support our commitment made through the Programme for Government to phase out the need for new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.
“In addition we have doubled the active travel budget from £39 to £80m for 2018/2019 to support our ambition to develop an Active Nation, where more people than ever before can experience the various benefits of walking and cycling.
“Our vision is that these exciting projects will help support more people to choose active travel and low carbon transport modes for their daily journeys.”
When the UK leaves the EU on March 29th 2019 it will be also leaving access to funding from the ERDF.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame