Kirkwall is Orkney's largest town and plays host to a wide range of shops, businesses and commercial premises. It's also the home of Orkney's main business support services, including Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
From its early days as a strategic Viking port to its modern role as the capital of Orkney, Kirkwall has grown to become an important business centre. On its outskirts lies Orkney's airport, Scapa Flow and its oil and inshore fisheries industry, Scotland's longest deepwater berth and numerous agricultural properties.
In the thriving town itself there are a range of shops, from large national chains to small, unique and homegrown businesses.
Kirkwall is currently the focus of a five year Townscape Heritage Initiative scheme, aimed at helping regenerate the built environment in the town for the benefit of businesses and members of the public.
In recent years, the Kirkwall Business Improvement District (BID) scheme has been set up to help give town centre businesses an opportunity to directly influence developments to try and bring a new life and energy to the area. It was launched in 2013 for a five year period and has helped run a number of initiatives to attract folk to the town centre. Local businesses pay a levy from their domestic rates which is used to fund projects.