ORIC expansion gains momentum with £2.8m funding boost


Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE) and Orkney Islands Council (OIC) have announced £2.8 million in funding to support the second phase of development of the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus (ORIC).

ORIC is a joint venture between HIE and OIC to support research and innovation activities in Orkney, as well as the expansion of businesses working in the marine renewable, energy and low carbon sector .

The 3.75 acre ORIC campus is based in the renovated former Stromness Academy and Primary School.

Currently, around 160 people are already working or studying at the facilities. The second phase is expected to create 165 additional jobs over the next ten years.

According to HIE, the increased funding will help improve existing facilities and create new spaces to enable more academic and business activities, collaboration and business incubation.

Additionally, new coworking spaces will be created to support growing small businesses. A number of energy efficiency improvements will also be made across the campus with the goal of achieving net zero operations.

John McGlynn, executive director of ORIC, said the support will help “maintain the momentum” of the first phase of development work on campus.

He said: “This funding, along with the financial contribution from the Islands Growth Deal, will enable continued campus modernization to ensure that our existing and future campus organizations have the facilities they need to thrive.”


This development project is part of a larger investment program under the Islands Growth Deal.

The ten-year investment program is jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and aims to boost economic growth in Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.

Alongside funding from HIE and OCI, the second phase of the ORIC project will also be supported by funding of up to £8 million from the UK government.

Graeme Harrison, Regional Director for HIE in Orkney, said: “ORIC plays such an important role in supporting the growth of existing research and innovation activities and the expansion of businesses in the marine renewable energy sector. , energy and low carbon Orkney.

“This significant investment will support the growth of existing businesses and the creation of new ones.

Harrison said the investment will enable Orkney to “attract and retain young people” who want to live, work or study on the island.

He added: “This is a project of great importance to Stromness and our islands as a whole.”

OCI leader James Stockan said: “It is great to take this important step and in doing so it is important that we recognize the efforts made by universities and businesses over the years here at Stromness. .

“This project would not have been possible without their dedication and passion to make a difference. We can’t wait to see the campus and get better and better.

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