Plans for a multi-million pound research and innovation campus in Stromness have taken a step forward after the two organisations behind the venture agreed funding for the project.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC) have entered into a partnership agreement and today, Monday, announced the support they are providing to establish the campus — which will support the growth of existing research and innovation activity and the expansion of companies in Orkney’s marine renewables, energy and low carbon sector.
It will also attract additional research activities to Orkney, both from the commercial and academic worlds.
The HIE Board has approved up to £5.15 million for the project. This includes £1.48 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) money administered by HIE.
Orkney Islands Council is to provide £1.5 million in funding. The council will also transfer the ownership of the Old Academy and former Stromness Primary School to the partnership.
The two buildings will be refurbished, updated and extended to create the campus. The aim is to attract academic institutions and businesses with an interest in carrying out a wide range of research projects in an island setting. This could include research linked to Orkney’s energy resources, transport needs, culture and economy.
The next stage of the project is a planning application with work hoped to begin on site before the end of 2017.