‘Orkney Gateway’ vision for county’s World Heritage Site opens for public comment

Closes 15 Oct 2021

Opened 6 Sep 2021

Overview

Local people are being asked for their feedback on options for the future management of the world-renowned Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site (WHS).

Feedback will be used to develop a final ‘Outline Business Case’ for ‘Islands Deal’ funding announced earlier this year by the UK and Scottish Governments for the Orkney World Heritage Site Gateway Programme - or “the Orkney Gateway”.

This Programme, which is aimed at providing a better and more sustainable experience for visitors and locals alike across the World Heritage Site (WHS), is being funded with joint investment of up to £6.5 million from the Scottish Government and UK Government (SG £5.5 million/UKG £1 million), as part of the Islands Growth Deal – a ten-year investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments, the three Island Councils and their partners from the public, academic and business sectors.

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney WHS takes in a number of globally important ancient monuments and settlements including the world-famous Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness and Maeshowe chambered tomb – with individual sites managed variously by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), and Orkney Islands Council (OIC).

The Orkney Gateway Programme looks to introduce a range of co-ordinated initiatives across the World Heritage Site area such as improved signage, technology to monitor visitor numbers in real time and suggest alternative attractions, active travel routes and strategically placed ‘welcome’ facilities including e-bike chargers and public toilets to help encourage visitors to spend more time taking in the sights both within the WHS and further afield.

It’s also proposed to implement coach permits and charging at some car parks to generate income towards upkeep of the WHS and encourage take-up of walking and cycling between attractions.

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