Designed by Robert Stevenson in 1819, Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is the oldest Stevenson Lighthouse in Shetland and has been in continuous use since its construction. The foghorn, Engine Room and additional Keeper lodgings were added in 1905, with the further addition of radar installations during WWII. Proposals to develop Sumburgh Head into a Visitor Centre progressed when Shetland Amenity Trust acquired the site in 2003 and, with Groves-Raines Architects as lead consultants, sourced £5.4million in grant funding and developed plans to renovate and restore these historic listed buildings which were falling into serious disrepair. The conservation and repair of Sumburgh Head encompassed all of the existing buildings on the site, with the addition of a modern extension: the curved glass fronted Education Centre which blends in perfectly, taking advantage of the breath-taking views. This building is now available for school groups, conferences, meetings and special events. Many features were replaced or restored during construction works, including chimneys, pediments and windows. The lead roof was fully replaced using traditional techniques and many original fixtures and fittings were retained. Restoration of the original Engine Room included a full overhaul of the three Diesel Kelvin engines with the addition of interpretive display materials. The new spiral staircase to the repaired Foghorn Tower has greatly improved access. With the foghorn being returned to working order, powered by the restored engines, it is the last working lighthouse foghorn in Scotland. The former Principal Keeper’s cottage has been fully renovated to accommodate RSPB Scotland staff offices. The historic Radar Hut, which detected attacks on the British Home Fleet during WWII has undergone extensive repair and been refurbished with detailed interpretive displays to replicate how it would have appeared in its operational days. The West Pavillion building has benefited from the addition of a new staircase and lift during its transformation into the Marine Life Centre. With extensive interpretation, visitors are taken on an interactive educational tour. The lower level immerses the visitor in an ‘underwater’ experience, while the upper floor focuses on the upper levels of the ocean and the seabird colonies on the surrounding cliffs. The East Pavillion building, unused for many years, has been fully renovated and now serves as luxury self-catering accommodation, sleeping up to five people. The original flagstone floors were re-laid after the underfloor heating was installed, which is powered by the new ground source heat pump. Additional bunk style accommodation is provided in the refurbished Occasional Keeper’s cottage. This is available for hire when it is not being used for artist or writer’s residencies. A fully fitted kitchen has been supplied here for use by guests, or groups using the Education Centre. In the extended and improved carpark at the lower entrance to Sumburgh Head, visitors are welcomed by the restored ‘Minor Light’ from Muckle Roe in the North West of Shetland. External work to improve the visitor experience included new road surfaces, extensive dry stone walling and the addition of informative panels about marine life, seabirds, geology and the archaeology of the area.