The HELIX Scotland news, Scottish horse sculpture project opening, Falkirk landscape design partnership

The HELIX, Scotland : Kelpie Heads

The Kelpies project by Falkirk Council, British Waterways & Central Scotland Forest Trust

post updated 26 March 2024

Queen Elizabeth II Canal Opening

The Queen has unveiled a plaque officially naming Scotland’s newest section of canal after her, reports BBC Scotland.

8 Jul 2017

Kelpie Sculptures at Helix Falkirk

The canal was built as part of the £43m Helix project near Falkirk, which includes the famous Kelpies sculptures.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the Kelpies on board a barge after leading a flotilla of boats along a newly-finished section of a waterway.

The Queen opens new canal before visiting Kelpies sculptures Film on YouTube

H.M. The Queen also had a private audience with the Canadian Prime Minister in Edinburgh. Justin Trudeau is in the Scottish capital as part of his first official visit to Scotland.

Kelpies creator artist Andy Scott discussed his work with the Queen during the event. She asked him about the history of the project and the relationship with the Clydesdale horses.

The Kelpies – Andy Scott’s Equine Sculptures near Falkirk, Scotland, Film on YouTube

The Duke of Edinburgh was particularly interested in the internal structure, the engineering, and the fabrication.

source: The Queen visits Kelpie Sculptures at Helix Falkirk – BBC post

18 Apr 2014

Kelpie Sculptures

Kelpie Sculptures Opening

Design: Andy Scott

Kelpie Sculptures

At the first of two night-time events, artist Andy Scott’s 300-tonne, 30m high Kelpie horse heads were brought to life by a light, sound and pyrotechnic display, reports BBC Scotland.

It was staged by Groupe F, a pyrotechnic outfit which lit up the Eiffel Tower at the Millennium.

The Kelpies, near Falkirk, officially open to the public on Monday, April 21st, 2014

The Kelpies tower a colossal 30 metres above the Forth & Clyde canal and form a dramatic gateway to the canal entrance on the East Coast of Scotland. Sculpted by Andy Scott, The Kelpies are a monument to horse powered heritage across Central Scotland.

The Kelpies from The Helix

The massive steel sculptures are part of the Helix, a £43m redevelopment of about 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth.

They are being launched at a two-night arts event called HOME, which also celebrates the opening of the John Muir Way, a new national pathway stretching across the central belt.

Kelpie Heads

27 Nov 2013

Kelpie Heads

Kelpies construction work completed

The world’s largest pair of equine sculptures have been unveiled in Scotland at an official topping out ceremony.

The Kelpies are one of the UK’s tallest pieces of public art, towering 30 metres above the Forth and Clyde canal near Falkirk.

The giant sculptures each weigh more than 300 tonnes and have been placed either side of a specially constructed canal lock and basin as a tribute to the horse powered heritage of central Scotland.

The £5 million project was modelled on two Clydesdale horses and sculpted by Andy Scott as part of the £43 million Helix scheme to transform 350 hectares of industrial land.

Andy Scott said: “The title and theme of The Kelpies as mystical water-borne equine creatures was inherited at the outset of the project, seven years ago.

“Since then it has evolved dramatically and in the process the ethos and function has shifted from the original concept.

“Falkirk was my father’s home town and that inherited link to the town has been one of my driving inspirations.

“A sense of deep personal legacy has informed my thinking from the outset, with old family connections anchoring me to the project.”

Kelpie Heads Sculpture

Massive ‘Kelpie’ heads set to be built as The HELIX bid to The BIG Lottery Fund’s Living Landmark programme receives £25m of lottery funding.

The HELIX, a partnership made up of Falkirk Council, British Waterways and the Central Scotland Forest Trust, intend to transform the landscape between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving environmental community. The funding announcement has been received with great excitement by all those involved with the project, especially in light of the fact that it was the only Scottish proposal to receive a lottery grant of this kind.

The scheme will provide a unique outdoor sustainable environment with 300 hectares of new greenspace, 34km of paths, cycle ways, water features, and woodland featuring 750,000 newly planted trees.

Other work will include a canal link to reconnect the Forth & Clyde Canal to the Forth Estuary that will offer a new gateway to Scotland’s inland waterways, as well a public arts programme which will involve the creation of two 30 metre high “Kelpie” heads. Based on the mythical Scots creatures of the same name, the sculptures will work both functionally as a boat lift mechanism for the canal, as well as an attraction complimenting The HELIX site.

Work due to start on site in 2008 over 3 phases; major capital phase to complete by 2013.

‘The Kelpies’ Design Competition
Kelpie Heads Falkirk horse heads sculpture
picture : Graeme Gilmour
The Kelpies Design Competition

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland has been commissioned by Falkirk Council to manage an important competition to select an architect-led, multi disciplinary, team. The competition is for the design of the internal space within a giant sculpture of a horse’s head. The structure will be set within one of two horses head sculptures, ‘The Kelpies’, by world renowned sculptor, Andy Scott. The competition also seeks the design of a complementary visitor hub on the same site. 9 Nov

Location: Falkirk, Scotland

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photo © mcateer photograph
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