Falkirk’s famous ‘golden eye’ cockerel has resumed its perch at the top of the town’s equally famous Steeple.
The weather vane was earmarked for a clean up as part of a £750,000 project to give the entire tower a makeover.
Since August an army of specialists have been swarming all over the iconic 140 foot high build which has dominated Falkirk’s skyline for over 200 years carrying out essential repairs to the clock faces, mechanisms and the stonework.
Now their work is done and the bird is back in place – cleaned and regilded by experts AL Sillars of Glasgow – and shining as brightly as ever.
Over the coming days the scaffolding will start to come down and town centre shoppers and traders will once again be able to gaze up in wonder at the famous landmark – and also know exactly which way the wind is blowing!
The major clean up was part of the £5.6 million Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) being supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.
The main aim is to restore, repair and preserve all Falkirk’s heritage features and historic buildings to create a more attractive streetscape, boost business and encourage more visitors, residents, services and retailers to the area.
Councillor Dennis Goldie, spokesperson for economic development, said: “The Falkirk Steeple is a real local treasure for many people.
“This project, along with the others planned as part of the THI scheme, is helping to conserve our town’s rich heritage at a time when our high streets continue to face difficult trading conditions.
“I’m conscious it is being delivered in the middle of a busy high street and the council apologises for the disturbance to shoppers and businesses, but are doing all we can to minimise this.”
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “For regeneration to really work it has to have roots. Roots make a place unique, connect people with their history and give a place its identity. The Steeple is part of Falkirk’s roots and a prominent historic landmark in the town.
“Thanks to the THI programme it will now have a new lease of life. This is an exciting step forward in the area’s ongoing transformation.”
Martin Fairley of Historic Environment Scotland said: “These important restoration works will safeguard an iconic landmark and an important milestone.”