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OIC takes top honours at planning awards

OIC head of development, planning and regulatory services Roddy Mackay (left) and OIC planning manager Stuart West (right), from Team Stromness, receive the top award at the national planning awards from Kevin Stewart MSP.

Orkney Islands Council scooped the top award at Scotland’s national planning awards in Edinburgh on Wednesday night.

They were named the overall winner across all categories for the Team Stromness project.

‘Team Stromness’ was comprised of a council-wide task force, which coordinated regeneration projects in the middle of the town, including repaving the main street in Stromness in local stone, construction of the landmark Warehouse Building and paving and redevelopment of the wider pierhead area.

The project also saw grants offered to private householders and businesses to help traditional repairs and refurbishment and the redevelopment of the Commercial Hotel through the Stromness Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The feedback from the judging panel states: “Team Stromness was an exemplary Urban Design Framework delivering on the ground. The Council’s passion to see Stromness modernise whilst maintaining its historical elegance was to be congratulated.”

Stromness Councillor and Leader of Orkney Islands Council, James Stockan, said: “This accolade is a just reward for the huge coordinated effort that went into rejuvenating and regenerating our much-loved town – in a way which built on the history and spirit of Stromness as a thriving economic and cultural hub.

“There are even more exciting times ahead for Stromness as we see further investment come to fruition including the multi-million pound Orkney Research and Innovation Campus project and a new care home for our oldest townsfolk. Stromness is now firmly on the map as a premier place to live, work, and do business and I am delighted to call it home.”

Gavin Barr is the Council’s Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure Services. He said: “I’m incredibly proud of this achievement which is strong validation of the hard work and professionalism of the Council team, and the fruits of collaborative working with the community. There is heavy competition for this national award and it is fitting evidence of  Orkney’s capability that we have come out on top.”

As part of the judging process, Orkney Islands Council also made a short film on the project which can be viewed here.

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