Restoration, Renewal and Research Progresses at Sumburgh Head

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The Sumburgh Head Project continues to make good progress towards completion, on schedule, in Spring 2014.

Contractors, CorraMore, reported this week that the new pump house has been completed, enabling a more efficient water supply to the properties.  Work on re-leading all the roofs is complete, and work on renewing the chimneys on the West pavilion has been carried out by Shetland Amenity Trust stonemasons. The new offices for RSPB staff are almost complete, with staff expected to move in very shortly.

The lower car park boundary wall is complete, with the car park area having been cleared in preparation for the busy tourist season which will begin shortly.  Visitors to the area will be increasing with the arrival of the Puffins, and a new resident in Promote Shetland's "Puffin Cam".

First stage electrical and plumbing work on the Education Centre, which is the only new build element of the £5.4million project, is almost finished and the large and impressive curved windows will be installed soon.  New artist's impressions released by Groves Raines Architects this week show how the finished building will highlight the stunning views from the Head.

Members of the Dunrossness Community Council visited the site during March and were enthusiastic about the progress to date.  Another visit is planned for later in the year.

The development of interpretive materials and research for displays is also progressing. The role of Sumburgh Head during World War 2 is one story being told in the visitor centre. Matt Arnold, Interpretation and Lifelong Learning Officer with Shetland Amenity Trust, has been researching this time. Records of eight keepers who worked and lived at Sumburgh Head between 1939 and 1945 have been traced, and Matt is currently searching for further information on Lawrence Anderson, Robert Eunson and William Skinner. If anyone has information on these men or their families, they can get in touch with Matt at matt@shetlandamenity.org or call (01595) 694688.