The Orkney Islands are renowned worldwide for their rich history and distinctive landscapes and seascapes. The jewels in the crown are the prehistoric sites which comprise the Heart of Neolithic Orkney (HONO) World Heritage Site. In recent years, visitor numbers have increased to such levels during peak season that the quality of the visitor experience and the fabric of monuments are now being adversely affected.
With the volume of visitors predicted to continue increasing, these problems will become compounded unless solutions are found. Orkney Islands Council (OIC), Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) commissioned Lateral North, Soluis Heritage and Northlight Heritage to explore how the development of a HONO Gateway, as identified in the WHS site management plan, could address some of the issues created by rising visitor numbers.
The Engaging Archipelagos / Archaeology / Architecture research document presented the detailed exploration of two concepts, presented to the Historic Environment Scotland board in 2017.
We worked as a team to develop an innovative idea which put digital innovation at the heart of the heritage project. At the core of each initial concept was the proposal to use combinations of infrastructure, technology and content to develop new visitor journeys and attractions, creating improved and inspiring experiences for visitors. The ultimate goal was to help to deliver sustainable tourism solutions for these globally recognised world heritage sites.