A joint venture between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC) will see the almost £5.4million construction of renewable energy focuses research and innovation campus on Orkney.
HIE and OIC has announced that they have appointed Kirkwall based firm R Clouston as the main contractor.
Building on the work being done by the European Marine Energy Centre on the island, the nearly 4-acre campus will look to expand Orkney’s marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.
HIE is to invest £4.65m in the campus project, with the addition of £1.48m of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money.
Orkney Islands Council is investing £2.0m, including £0.5m of Scottish Government Regeneration Funding, in addition to transferring ownership of the Old Academy and former Stromness primary school to the partnership.
Graeme Harrison, HIE area manager in Orkney, said: “We are delighted to be awarding this substantial contract to create the research and innovation campus, and welcome the fact that a local firm has been successful in tendering for the work. This is a significant step in the project and for our future business and academic infrastructure, the impacts of which will be felt across Orkney.
“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. We look forward to working with the contractor and with Orkney Islands Council in bringing this important development to fruition.”
James Stockan, OIC ‘eader, said: “The award of the construction contract is a key milestone in the development of the research and innovation campus and I am very pleased that an Orkney-based firm will be carrying out the work.
“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.”
Work on the project is set to get underway during the week beginning Monday 26 March.