Stromness regeneration project takes top planning award

Image credit: Orkney Islands Council

A 10-year plan to regenerate Stromness has scooped the top prize at a national awards ceremony.

The plan for the town won the Silver Jubilee Cup at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2018, held in London. The project also won in the Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy category.

Planners at Orkney Islands Council led a task force to implement a plan that is said to have “transformed” the town. 12 major projects have been launched, including new and upgraded public spaces, new shops and businesses and a new primary school. Additionally, the town’s library has been rebuilt and relocated to a new site in the centre of the town for added accessibility.

A new fishing pier was built with European funding, with new business and industrial spaces allocated nearby. The council has also started work for a new international research facility and infrastructure for tidal and wave energy generation.

Craig McLaren FRTPI, RTPI Awards advisor said, “Stromness has been regenerated over the past 10 years through a comprehensive, plan-led strategy. It was spearheaded by the council’s planners who were key to its success through establishing a vision for the town and ensuring commitment from other players to help deliver it. The dramatic before and after photographs show just how profound the transformation has been. This remarkable ‘place-based’ approach could be used as a blueprint to revive declining towns across the country.”