Puddles prove no handicap

Flooded area of Helix Park where contractors have dug channels to try to clear the water
Flooded area of Helix Park where contractors have dug channels to try to clear the water

Visitors to the Helix have been having a splashing time after heavy rainfall left large areas of the park under inches of water.

Contractors have been forced to dig trenches in a bid to tackle the problem of massive puddles appearing on newly-planted ground.

Run-off water from the area has also been causing minor flooding on the nearby highways, particularly close to the A9 Northern Distributor Road and A904 Falkirk Road.

However, Helix bosses said the flooding wasn’t a major issue for the £43 million project and was one that the contractors were dealing with.

A spokesman said: “The problem is mainly because it is a new landscape and we have had large amounts of rain in the last weeks and months.

“There are certain areas where a lot of water has gathered and the contractors have dug channels in an attempt to drain this off.

“They are working hard to get the site prepared and will continue to monitor and review the situation.”

He added that no additional costs had been incurred dealing with the problem.

On Wednesday, it was announced additional Scottish Government funding of £500,000 had been awarded to Scottish Canals to build the £1.2 million visitor centre at the Kelpies canal hub.

The Helix is expected to officially open this summer when the regeneration of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth will be complete.

The project is a partnership between Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals with the £25 million grant it received from the Big Lottery fund, the largest ever made at the time.

Since September, much of the Helix Park has been open to the public and is already proving a popular location. However, the opening of the £5 million Kelpies and 
visitor centre is expected to be an even bigger attraction.

The 30-metre tall work by Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott is claimed to be the 
largest equine sculpture in the world and one of the largest pieces of public art in the UK.

Once complete, the Kelpies Hub will form the North Sea entrance to Central Scotland’s inland waterways through the one kilometre canal extension and new sea loch. An adventure play 
area for children of all ages, is 
expected to be ready by the spring.