Helix visitor centre is given the green light

Plans to erect a visitor centre as as part of the Helix project have been backed by council planners.

At a meeting of Falkirk Council’s planning committee yesterday members were unanimous in their support for the local authority’s application to build the centre, which will feature a restaurant, retail and interpretive space and car parking, on land to the north of West Mains Industrial Estate.

The visitor centre will have a spectacular view of the Kelpies

The visitor centre will have a spectacular view of the Kelpies

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Councillor Adrian Mahoney said: “This will be a big year for the Helix as more of it becomes accessible to the public. Hopefully it will attract lots of people to Falkirk and help our local economy.”

Work on the Helix, funded in part by Big Lottery Living Landmarks, is being carried out in partnership by Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and Central Scotland Forest Trust.

The project aims to rejuvenate an area of land which lies between Falkirk and Grangemouth and improve connections between existing settlements and facilities.

The new visitor centre will be located on the site of the Helix mooring basin which is currently under construction and will lie adjacent to the Forth and Clyde Canal, to the west, and the M9 motorway, to the east.

Access to the centre is proposed from the existing Etna Road roundabout on the A9 northern distributor road.

Construction of the Helix is ongoing and the granting of the visitor centre application directly follows the planning committee’s decision to give permission for the erection of two 30-metres high Kelpie sculptures, formation of boat turning pool, landscaped hub area, visitor facilities, parking and ancillary development in March last year.

It’s over five years since the concept of the Helix was first introduced to the people of Falkirk district and beyond. Our slideshow captures some of the steps the project has taken along the way. For more information visit www.thehelix.co.uk.