Falkirk’s very own national treasures

Sir Chris Hoy at the Kelpies to celebrate 20 years of the National Lottery''Picture: Michael Gillen

Sir Chris Hoy at the Kelpies to celebrate 20 years of the National Lottery''Picture: Michael Gillen

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The iconic Kelpies have been named ‘National Treasures’ by the Scottish public.

Only six months after they were unveiled, the two giant horses heads have become a popular attraction with locals and tourists from all over the world.

Today they were recognised as the National Lottery celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first draw.

To celebrate its life-changing impact, the public were asked to name their ‘National Treasure’.

The Kelpies and Sir Chris Hoy both topped the poll and Britain’s greatest-ever Olympian was in town at the Helix Park to see for himself the sculptures designed by Andy Scott.

He was joined by representatives from some of the Scottish projects which have benefited from £2.6 billion National Lottery funding over the past two decades.

Sir Chris, who credits the National Lottery cash with helping him achieve his Olympic dream, said: “It certainly changed my life; without the funding I received at the start of my career I really wouldn’t be where I am today.

“When you hear about how many other lives it has changed, from lucky winners to projects that have received funding, it really brings home the positive impact it has had in Scotland and across the UK.”

The £43 million Helix project was made possible by a £25 million award from Big Lottery’s ‘Living Landmarks’ Fund, and a partnership between Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Central Scotland Forest Trust.