It is lovely to see the centre of Kirkwall becoming busier again. The Daily Scoop which kept us going throughout this dreadful year past with its delicious ices now has an added outdoor seating area with bonnie planters.
Low’s Property Centre makes good use of its wee courtyard where you can browse through the properties for sale.
And soon to be appearing, hanging from many premises, will be flowering baskets fully funded by Kirkwall and St Ola Community Council.
Community council Chair Rikki Lidderdale said:
“The past year or so has been challenging to say the least, both for individuals and our whole community. Our capital has been used to summers filled with visitors from far and wide enjoying our heritage, culture and hospitality. The comparative silence of 2020 made clear the importance of safely regaining Kirkwall’s attractive vibrancy.
“Our aim is to proactively provide a boost of positivity to the civic and business environment. Time will tell if we can safely regain the footfall of the past, but we have committed to giving our local recovery the best chance we can.
“Our members hope that when people travel here responsibly they will find an optimistic town and community making cautious, but positive, progress. We hope too that the bursts of colour in the hanging baskets will provide a well-deserved morale boost for the whole Orkney community.”
Mr Lidderdale also praised the work of the staff at Wellpark Garden Centre, who provide and maintain the baskets every year.
“It is no small task to get these baskets in place through the town and ensure that they remain a vibrant and attractive addition to the street throughout the summer season, and we are grateful to the staff at Wellpark for doing such a good job over the years.”
Welcoming the return of the flowering baskets, Duncan McLean from Kirkness & Gorie said:
“As a shopkeeper on Broad Street I will be absolutely delighted to see the return of the hanging baskets this year. They bring life and colour to the town centre and we look forward to seeing them appear each year, and the Glues at Wellpark make a great job of looking after them. It is fantastic that the community council is funding them this year because we missed them last year.
“With my Kirkwall BID hat on I would say that when we won the Most Beautiful High Street in Scotland award in 2019 – and we are still reigning champions as it wasn’t awarded last year – the hanging baskets definitely contributed to that. The buildings along the street are very angular and the hanging baskets, as well as providing colour, soften these hard edges. Their return to our award-winning town centre will be very welcome.”
While the community council has agreed to fund the baskets in full in order to get them out along the streets as quickly as possible, they are in discussions over funding support, which would free up more of their budget for other projects in the coming year.