Back in time for museum project

AJ Engineering will be going back through time when it works on a project involving a historic visitor centre.

A team has been deployed to Lyness on the Island of Hoy in Orkney where Orkney Islands Council secured a grant of £1.155 million from The Heritage Lottery Fund for the project at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre.

The project will involve the restoration of the historic buildings, enhancement of interpretation and displays, and the creation of a building which will house an exhibition space, café, toilet facilities and information areas.

General manager, Graham Alexander who is leading the project said: “We are delighted to be involved in this project which has huge historical importance. The works involve input from our teams at our headquarters in Forres, but also the skill of our employees at our sister company NEWCo based in Fort William.”

He added: “The works that we are involved in are an extension to the visitor centre and also replacing the roof cladding on an existing building.

“However, there are also two existing steel chimneys and as the existing buildings are historically significant these features must not be lost. The NEWCo team has taken away the chimneys and one will be repaired and they will make a replica of the second one which sadly cannot be restored.”

“We have just had a team return from Sumburgh and they will now be deployed to the Island of Hoy. There are huge logistics with this type of project as we have to get the steelwork from the mainland to the Orkney mainland and then across to the Island, but AJ Engineering is no stranger to working in remote locations so the contractors are in safe hands.”

Scapa Flow served as a sheltered harbour for British ships during war, with some 12,000 people once stationed off the Orkney isle. Lyness became the naval headquarters in Orkney during 1919 before works were undertaken to further enlarge the base in the 1930s.

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