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Work on Kirkwall flood defences start next week

A view of the Kirkwall basin with an artist’s impression of the Phase 2 flood defences.

Construction of the OIC’s flood defence scheme in Kirkwall is due to start next week.

The Kirkwall Harbour Flood Prevention scheme will see a minimum 1.1m high uninterrupted barrier between Ayre Mills and the St Catherine’s Place roundabout, to help bolster low lying parts of central Kirkwall against flooding as a result of storm surges.

The project, worth around £1.75m including design costs, is 80 per cent funded by the Scottish Government and is required under the Flood Risk Management Act.

The contract for the work has been awarded to local company Andrew Sinclair Ltd.

Measures include increasing existing wall and rock armour heights in places, the installation of permanent floodgates at major opening such as to piers and slipways, and removable barriers at smaller ones.

The walls in front of the marina and basin will be faced in Orkney stone, with the top 0.45m portion being a panel of toughened glass.

Construction is expected to take around ten months.