We’re counting down to opening of Falkirk landmark

Helix Programme Director Mike King, Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson MSP for Falkirk West and Angus MacDonald MSP for Falkirk East visit the Helix site.
Helix Programme Director Mike King, Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson MSP for Falkirk West and Angus MacDonald MSP for Falkirk East visit the Helix site.

The countdown is now ticking for the wraps to come off the district’s new massive environmental project.

When The Helix finally opens, the landscape between Falkirk and Grangemouth will be changed for ever.

Next month there will be a open-day event when the public can have a “sneak preview” of the transformation and all the outdoor opportunities offered by the £43 million development being delivered by Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals.

The district’s two MSPs, Michael Matheson and Angus MacDonald, were this week given a tour of the site to see the progress already made.

Work on the 350-hectare land transformation initiative has been gathering pace over the last couple of months, with the planting of trees and shrubs described as “Scotland’s biggest gardening project”.

The MSPs toured the site with Helix programme director Mike King and were impressed by the way in which the four key areas of the park were taking shape, including construction of the 30 metre tall Kelpies.

Designed by Glasgow-based sculptor Andy Scott, the two massive horses’ heads will be positioned either side of a specially constructed lock and basin, part of the redeveloped canal hub.

The Helix is expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors a year to the Falkirk area and boost the local economy by around £1.5 million a year.

Due to officially open next April, the preview event will take place on Saturday, September 14.

Welcoming the progress, Mr Matheson said: “It’s great to see it first hand. The Helix will attract visitors from home and overseas and the Kelpies will become a national landmark.”

Mr MacDonald said: “I’ve watched progress closely from initial conception of the idea to the near completion we have seen today. This project will be of enormous benefit to residents of Falkirk district and beyond.”