An ambitious £9.2 million pier plan for Stromness on Orkney has been given the green light after Scottish Government funding was announced by the Deputy First Minister as she arrived on Orkney for the latest Summer Cabinet.
The Copland’s Dock development will see construction of a new 100-metre pier and associated access road in Stromness, where Nicola Sturgeon is today hosting an industry event to mark the start of the grand challenge phase of the £10 million Saltire Prize competition for wave and tidal energy technology.
Together with developments at Lyness (island of Hoy) and Hatston (near Kirkwall), the Copland’s Dock pier forms part of Orkney Islands Council’s Three Ports Strategy to invest in major infrastructure projects that provide the marine renewables industry with upgraded and new-build pier and quayside facilities at key locations.
They will support the trialling of technologies at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) - the world’s first accredited testing facility for wave and tidal energy devices - and the future development of commercial-scale marine energy arrays in the Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters, as well as benefiting the fishing and aquaculture sectors.
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The Deputy First Minister said:
“Orkney is the beating-heart of the global marine renewables sector. By investing in key projects such as Copland’s Dock pier, we can ensure that these islands and other Scottish communities retain our leading role as the wave and tidal energy sector moves towards industrial-scale manufacturing and deployment over the next decade.
“A Highlands & Island Enterprise-commissioned study, to be published soon, has identified that in nine years since EMEC was set up, the marine energy industry has created around 250 jobs in Orkney, boosting its economy by tens of millions of pounds. This local economic impact is predicted to increase four-fold by 2020 as test activity accelerates further and the roll-out of the Pentland Firth & Orkney Waters commercial lease sites begins in earnest.
Read more at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/08/coplands-dock28082012