Cruise Arrivals


VAO sets sights on new home

Voluntary Action Orkney has shared an initial design for its proposed new base on the land between Kirkwall’s scout hall and Lidl.

Voluntary Action Orkney (VAO) is looking to secure new premises following the sale of Anchor Buildings, the charity has announced today.

For more than 35 years, the organisation’s office could be found on Bridge Street, but that is now set to change as local businessman, Neil Stevenson, has purchased the building.

When the VAO board of directors were informed that Anchor Buildings had a new owner, they say they had not expected the news to also bring an “amazing opportunity.”

Aware of the organisation’s search to find a location for a “third sector hub”, Mr Stevenson had recently acquired the area of land that lies between the scout hall and Lidl and suggested it as a possible site.

Having looked at a number of different properties over the years, directors at Voluntary Action Orkney say they found idea of building the hub very appealing.

Gerry O’Brien, chairman at Voluntary Action Orkney, said: “We would like to thank Neil for coming forward with such an interesting proposal. It’s an amazing opportunity for the third sector in Orkney and one we felt we had to pursue.

“It would be a long-term investment for us which will benefit the local charities and community groups we support as well as the wider community in Orkney.

“There are a few different options for us to look at in terms of how we work with Neil, and we’re very much at the start of that journey.

“At the moment, we’re gathering the information needed to put together funding and planning applications. Ultimately, it’ll be once the funds are in place that we’ll know if we are able to go ahead with our plans.

“In our search for a new premises over the years we’ve worked closely with Orkney Islands Council, and they’ve always been very supportive in particular with the offer to redevelop Garden House for our use.

“This has been hugely appreciated by both past and present directors and we’ll be keeping them up to date with our progress.”

For the full story, look out for this week’s edition of The Orcadian.