Local News

£200,000 Funding Boost to Bridge Street Project

A project in Kirkwall’s Bridge Street has been awarded £200,000 from the Scottish Government’s investment in the Islands.

The funding awarded ‘is a rapid first phase to establish new activity within The Bridge Street Development Project in Kirkwall which occupies a prime location in one of the most historic parts of the town but is vacant brownfield site with derelict warehouse buildings. ‘

Plans are to create a reusable steel framed multioccupancy food and drink hospitality and leisure business environment.

area under construction with builders rubble and vans with partly renovated building
Part of the redevelopment that is happening in Bridge Street Kirkwall

Phase 1 of the project (pictured above) being developed by Neil Stevenson will be a temporary 5 year project, based around hospitality and leisure, the purpose of which is to bring the site back into use relatively quickly and give the area an immediate boost. It is hoped that this will eventually rejuvenate the whole of this historic part of Kirkwall.

plaque for William Schollay's Ship Inn
Bridge Street Kirkwall image credit Bell

The estimate of the total cost of the redevelopment project for Bridge Street is £4,650,000.

people queueing at Christmas time for the Winter Wonderland in Bridge Street Kirkwall
Kirkwall BID’s Winter Wonderland in November 2021 saw a range of fun activities in Bridge Street Kirkwall

Across the islands £4.1 million has been shared between 13 projects in the latest round of funding from the Scottish Government’s Islands Programme.

  1. £298,900 – Canna Hub, Canna – Highland Council
  2. £700,000 – Infrastructure for Worker Accommodation –  Mull, Argyll and Bute Council
  3. £75,202 – Growing Space Nesting Shetland Mainland –  Shetland Islands Council
  4. £450,000 – Tiree Community Care Hub  – Tiree, Argyll and Bute Council
  5. £730,998 – Garrison House Regeneration Scheme, Cumbrae – North Ayrshire Council
  6. £220,625 – Dyemill Bike Park, Arran – North Ayrshire Council
  7. £695,000 – COPE Ltd – Shetland Home Co Expansion Project, Mainland Shetland –  Shetland Islands Council
  8. £71,005  – Hymhus, The Bigton Regeneration Hub Phase 1, Mainland Shetland. Shetland Islands Council
  9. £250,000 – Stornoway Campus, Lewis – Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  10. £382,307 – Acarsaid Harbour Development Eriskay and South Uist – Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  11. £200,000 – Kirkwall Bridge Street Development  – Mainland Orkney, Orkney Islands Council
  12. £78,350  – An Taigh Mor, Lewis –  Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
  13. £55,000 – Seallam! Hebrides People Visitor Centre, Harris –  Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

The 2023/24 Islands Programme (IP) was launched on 31 January 2023, with an application deadline of 21 April 2023.  It is being delivered in partnership with local government via a competitive bid process with the six island Local Authorities as lead applicants.

Applications to the IP have been subject to scrutiny and assessment by the Islands Programme Investment Panel which has made recommendations on projects to be funded.  The panel is selected from Scottish Government and a range of partner organisations who have experience of panel assessments and infrastructure spending.

The funding awards were announced by Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon in Shetland. She said:

head shot of Mairi Gougeon smiling

“I recognise the continued resilience shown by Islanders in response to the climate and cost of living crises but I am mindful that ongoing support is needed in order to ensure the long term sustainability of our island communities.

“This new funding displays our commitment to enact our National Islands Plan across all six island authorities in Scotland in order to tackle island depopulation, boost local economies and bolster tourism.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact that the projects will have in their respective communities.”

Fiona Grahame

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