• Aerial view of Lyness, Hoy - image by Colin Keldie

Scapa Flow Museum project set to start

Work to restore and refurbish one of Orkney’s finest wartime heritage sites will get underway later this year.

A large-scale renovation project that will see the Scapa Flow Museum at Lyness in Hoy open its doors for the first time in four years will be launched in September.

The redevelopment will focus on the historic pump house at the former naval base, with an extension to the museum also planned.

The former pump house at Lyness which is home to the Scapa Flow Museum

Until 2017, the museum housed wartime artefacts, photographs and films as well as a large collection of military vehicles, cranes and artillery. It helped document Orkney’s military involvement in the First and Second World Wars and told the story of how the conflicts impacted on the local population.

Lyness became the Royal Navy’s headquarters in Orkney during 1919, having previously been used as an oil depot. By 1940 the base housed 12,000 military and civilian personnel.

Buildings at the site have been deteriorating for some time and a restoration project was originally set to be launched two years ago. Now the revised project, funded by a range of partners including Orkney Islands Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland, will see the new-look museum opened all-year-round for the first time in many years.

Local company Orkney Builders will carry out the work and it’s hoped the refurbished and extended museum will open once again during the summer of 2021.

In the meantime, you can explore the wartime history of Scapa Flow at a temporary exhibition in the nearby Hoy Hotel while the museum is closed, part-funded through the Island of Hoy Development Trust.

Find out more about Hoy, and plan your trip with Orkney Ferries.


The Digital Orkney project has been part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Orkney LEADER 2014-2020

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