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Scapa Flow Museum plans to move forward

The Scapa Flow Museum in Lyness.

Councillors today, Tuesday, endorsed plans to take forward a revised project to restore and improve the Scapa Flow Museum in Lyness, which has been closed for the last two years, pending redevelopment.

A meeting of the full council supported recent recommendations from the policy and resources committee on the way ahead for the scheme.

The aim is to concentrate efforts on restoring the historic pump house at Lyness and on the construction of an extension to the museum. Essential repairs to the Romney Hut and options for the oil tank will be developed as separate projects.

Council leader James Stockan said: “The problems we encountered in trying to take forward an all-encompassing project are among the main reasons why it has taken longer than we hoped to get to this stage.

“The remote location, the logistical challenges and the unique and complex nature of each of the buildings made it difficult to secure a contractor interested in tackling the project as a whole.

“We have now decided to focus on the pump house and museum extension and hope to be in a position to award a contract later in the summer so that construction work can begin in the autumn.

“First we need to discuss the revised project with the external funders and ensure their continuing support. The decision we took today is hugely important and will send a strong and reassuring signal to the funders that this project enjoys the full backing of the council.”

The museum’s role is to chart Orkney’s military involvement in the First and Second World Wars and provide a safe home for a major collection of wartime artefacts, many of national and international importance.

The revised project involves the restoration of the former oil pumping station at the heart of the museum, the enhancement of interpretation and displays, and the creation of a new extension which will house an exhibition space, café, toilet facilities and information areas.

The aim is for the museum to be open all year round, encouraging more people to visit Hoy and boosting tourism throughout the island.

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