Kelpies light up the Falkirk sky

The Kelpies were lit up for their international unveiling''Picture: Michael Gillen
The Kelpies were lit up for their international unveiling''Picture: Michael Gillen
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The Kelpies officially came to life with a spectacular light show which captivated the thousands who turned out for tonight’s event.

As darkness descended people of all ages made their way to the £43 million Helix project to see the 30-metre tall stars of the show lit up in a myriad of colour against a backdrop of shooting flames.

The crowd stood mesmerised as the spectacular show, put together by France’s Groupe F, signalled the international unveiling of the iconic sculptures.

Designed by Glasgow artist Andy Scott, the two giant horses heads were inspired by the Clydesdale horses which for centuries pulled boats along the towpaths of the nearby Forth & Clyde Canal.

Official tours of The Kelpies begin on Monday, April 21.

The Helix has been developed in partnership with Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals. It has transformed 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a parkland, lagoon and events area.

The project was kick-started by a £25 million grant from The Big Lottery Fund in 2005.

Falkirk’s Provost Pat Reid said: “The Kelpies now stand as a great source of pride for young and old throughout our area and as a symbol of a new, progressive, modern place in which to live, play and work.”

Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Canals, said: “After all the hard work of the past eight years, I am absolutely delighted that we are celebrating this fantastic addition to Scotland’s international tourism offering.”

The Kelpies are expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors to the area and bring £1.5 million annually in tourism revenue.