Sumburgh Head visitor centre on schedule for 2014 opening

The transformation of  the former Sumburgh Lighthouse into an education and visitor centre is progressing well with the project scheduled to be completed in spring next year.

Contractors CorraMore reported this week that the new pump house has been completed, enabling a more efficient water supply to the properties.

An artist's impression of the view from the new Sumburgh visitor centre.
An artist’s impression of the view from the new Sumburgh visitor centre.

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 for Promote Shetland’s “puffin cam” inside a burrow.

First-stage electrical and plumbing work on the education centre, the only “new-build” element of the £5.4 million project, is almost finished and the large and impressive curved windows will be installed soon.

New artists’ impressions released by Groves Raines Architects this week show how the finished building will highlight the stunning views from Sumburgh 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 II is one story being told in the visitor centre and Shetland Amenity Trust interpretation and lifelong learning officer Matt Arnold has been researching the period.

Records of eight keepers who worked and lived at Sumburgh Head between 1939 and 1945 have been traced, and Mr Arnold 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 Mr Arnold on (01595) 694688 or email


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