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Orkney

The Orkney islands are at the forefront of Scotland's renewables industry.

About Orkney

Orkney is made up of around 70 islands clustered where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, and fewer than half are inhabited. Yet the islands’ geography positions them at the frontline of Scotland’s renewables industry. The European Marine Energy Centre leads research and development in wave and tidal prototype testing. Wind turbines create energy for island traffic, and plans for island ferries to run on hydrogen power are on the horizon.

Internationally renowned as home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these islands and their people harness thousands of years of vibrant heritage and nature.

Every year, the population of over 22,000 swells as thousands more visitors from the UK and beyond explore Orkney’s past and present, soaking up ancient history and contemporary culture, craft and sampling the islands’ abundant locally-produced food and drink.

Orkney’s produce, and not just its reputation, has a global reach. The fruits of its food and drink industry - everything from ice cream and shellfish to whisky and beer - feature on dinner tables around the world. Designers, artists and jewellery-makers make handcrafted Scottish, Celtic and Nordic pieces, ensuring that thousands of visitors can enjoy a piece of these unique islands’ charms long after they’ve gone.

Neolithic villages, Viking runes, ancient stone circles and prehistoric graves. Orkney may lie just six miles from the UK mainland, but much of this remarkable archipelago’s celebrated appeal is rooted in another world. 

About Orkney

22

Population

49.5

value of visitors to economy

200

modern apprentices in training

449

Height of Old Man of Hoy

A land of opportunity

Want to know a bit more about Orkney from the people who live there? Visit the local orkney.com website. It's got information for tourists and those planning to make the islands their home.

Go to orkney.com

Research and Innovation

We're working with partners to develop the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus (ORIC) to support business growth and stimulate R&D work.

Find out more about ORIC
Orkney Burray

Our enterprising communities

Community-led social and economic development is key to success in many of our areas. Westray's community wind turbine supports a wide range of community group projects which touch every aspect of island life.

Support for Community Organisations
HIE’s invaluable assistance is helping to grow our business and we look forward to the next few years as we continue to grow. A key component in this growth will be innovation in new products which is critical in markets that crave new ideas.
Louise Drever, The Westray Bakehouse