Orkney Communities Orkney Islands LEADER Programme 2007-2013 | text version | sitemap | log in


Orkney lies off the North East coast of mainland Scotland and comprises some 70 islands, of which 18 are inhabited.  Lying on latitude 59 degrees North (which is only 150 miles off Greenland) Orkney is, at its widest, 30 miles from East to West, and at its longest, 53 miles from North to South.  With a total coastline of approximately 570 miles, the islands cover an area of 990 square kilometres, of which the "mainland" island comprises more than half. 

Orkney's total population is currently approximately 19,900.  This shows an increase of approximately 600 from the start of the decade.  There are 20 people per square kilometre, which compares with 65 people per square kilometre in Scotland and 246 per square kilometre in the UK.

Orkney still relies heavily on its traditional industries of Agriculture and Fishing.  However, Tourism is becoming a more important industry to the economy, with positive impacts on the craft sector.  Ever since the late 1970's when the Flotta Oil Terminal was opened, the Oil industry has provided an economic boost to the isles.  More recently, the Renewables sector has taken off with Orkney at the cutting edge of technological development. 

All of Orkney's communities are eligible to participate in the Orkney LEADER programme.  A map of Orkney can be viewed by clicking here.

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