Kirkwall was named the Most Beautiful High Street in Scotland, having topped a general public poll.
Duncan McLean, president of the Kirkwall Business Improvement District, which made the application on behalf of the district, said: “We at Kirkwall BID are pleased that this very special award has been received by our city.
“This celebrates the charm of the historic centre of the city, as well as the contributions of local people, public bodies and charitable groups to make the city a great place to live, function and socialize.
“More notably, it was our community’s encouragement that won this award, and recognizing that Kirkwall’s people love and are proud of their town is the best reward of all.” Having received 21% of approximately 5,000 ballots, Kirkwall encountered stiff competition from Lerwick, who took 18% of the vote. East Dunbartonshire city, Milgavnie, was 15% in a close third.
The national competition for Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street is run by two of the most well-known local and environmental organizations in Scotland— Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Scotland’s national city body, and Keep Scotland Beautiful, the environmental charity that campaigns to keep Scotland green, clean and sustainable.
Online voting took place over four weeks.
Phil Prentice, head of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “This competition is about recognizing local people’s work and effort to make their high streets the best they can be. It’s not just a high street award, it’s a prize for the people that occupy it.
“I’ve seen some of the ingenuity and forward-thinking used in Kirkwall first hand and it’s a true example of what imagination and dedication can do.
“I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Kirkwall and all the worthy cities that have been shortlisted. It’s no secret that for the past couple of years our high streets have been under pressure, but this rivalry offers us hope for the future.