Orkney’s marine renewables research campus set for buildout

Illustration/SME’s PLAT-O tidal device (Photo: EMEC)

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC) have awarded a £5.4 million construction contract for the development of a new Research and Innovation Campus in Orkney.

The construction of the campus – a joint venture of HIE and OIC – has been entrusted to the Orkney-based R Clouston Limited who will be the main contractor for the job set get underway during the week beginning Monday, March 26, 2018.

The 3.75-acre campus will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies forming part of Orkney’s marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.

The campus is also expected to attract additional research activities to Orkney, both from the commercial and academic worlds.

HIE is investing approximately £4.7 milion in the campus project, including around £1.5 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money. Orkney Islands Council is investing £2 million, including £500,000 of Scottish Government Regeneration Funding, in addition to transferring ownership of the Old Academy and former Stromness primary school to the partnership.

Orkney Research and Innovation Campus rendering (Image: HIE)

The Old Academy is already home to the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), Heriot Watt University’s International Centre for Island Technology, environmental consultants Aquatera and number of other businesses.

Graeme Harrison, HIE area manager in Orkney, said: “This significant investment will support the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones. Crucially, it will provide more opportunities to attract and retain young people looking to live, work and study in Orkney.”

James Stockan, OIC Leader, added: “This is a project of great significance for Stromness and our islands as a whole. It will result in a 21st century centre of excellence, creating new jobs and stimulating a broad range of research and business activity in Orkney.”