Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Dunrobin Castle - ancestral home of the Clan Sutherland
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Scotland is a great place to explore by cycle on trails and coastal paths
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
Ardvreck Castle and Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
The banks of Loch Lomond - Britain's largest stretch of inland water
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Strathisla Distillery in Keith, Grampian Highlands
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye
Gleneagles Golf Course
Gleneagles Golf Course
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Fantastic rivers and lochs await for you to try your hand at fishing
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
Scotland's rich musicial tradition
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
The Northern Isles are home to the world-famous Shetland pony
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Ring of Brodgar in Orkney
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Kayaks at North Beach, Little Bernera, Isle of Lewis, Stornoway
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Dolphin pond in magnificent mountainside setting of Benmore Botanic Gardens
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Piper at Castle of Mey in Thurso, Caithness
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Balmoral Castle, Royal Deeside, Aberdeen
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum, Glasgow
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Ben Nevis, Fort William
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Oban, Argyll & Bute
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle

Major pier project opens next week

Scotland’s longest commercial deep-water berth has been created in Orkney with the completion of a new extension at Hatston Pier just outside Kirkwall.

The 160-metre extension to the existing 225-metre pier will be officially opened next week by Neil Kermode, Managing Director of EMEC, the Orkney-based European Marine Energy Centre.

The £8.4 million project is a key component in an ambitious 3 ports development strategy, primarily for the marine renewables industry. The pier is now almost a quarter of a mile long and, as well as supporting this important new sector, will serve Orkney well as a berth for a variety of vessels, including ferries, cruise ships and those serving the offshore oil and gas industries.”

The extension to Hatston Pier attracted £3.4 million in support from the European Regional Development Fund, with £5 million being provided by Orkney Islands Council.

The new berth is already attracting some of the largest cruise liners for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, adding to Orkney’s accolade as the most sought after destination for cruise ships in the UK.

This year there are 74 port calls to Orkney carrying around 62,000 passengers and 20,000 crew, with 54 port calls already booked for 2014.

The first large liner to call at the new 385 metre berth will be Caribbean Princess on 17 May.

The opening ceremony takes place at Hatston Pier on Tuesday, April 30.

 Aerial view showing the extended pier at Hatston, Kirkwall, Orkney