Helix Park

The Kelpies – a second impression

Kelpies at Helix park , Grangemouth

The Kelpies  in the Helix Park have been open to the public for over 6 months now .The project has been very successful , bringing in over 1 million visitors to the area . For anyone planning to visit Falkirk , the Kelpies are a must see .
The Kelpies are positioned in between the old and the new , the Forth and Clyde Canal on the left and the M9 motorway on right.
They were inspired by the Clydesdale horses that used to pull boats full of freight along canal. In the 19th century , the canals were the motorways of Britain .

Each Kelpie is 50 metres high and made of steel plates welded onto a framework , like armour plating. More than 600 tonnes of steel was used in the construction of the The Kelpies and more than 10,000 special fixtures are used to hold them together.
The two sentinels guard the canal , the first Kelpie looks calm, looking straight ahead and focussed on its load , the second is rearing its head into the sky as if angry or unhappy with its load.
Sculptor Andy Scott has spent 8 years on the project and a couple of times he thought the whole thing was going to be scrapped due to its cost.

The original aim of the project was to transform waste land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban greenspace , “The Helix”. This includes a performance area, on which large scale events can be held, facilities for watersports provided by a large lagoon, all surrounded by play areas and high quality pathways. Access around The Helix is provided by 17 miles  of cycleways and footpaths.

Questions continue to be raised about the return on investment for the project . The Kelpies have proved themselves a major tourist attraction in the same way the Falkirk Wheel is , but with no visitor centre the fear is visitors may spend little or nothing in the area .Falkirk Council has asked the Falkirk Community trust why a visitor centre was not included in the plans , but the Trust were unable to explain this . There are rumours about concerts being held in the performance area next year , which would bring in revenue to the area just like the recent concerts by  Elton John and Rod Stewart across the road at the Falkirk stadium .  Callendar Park  used to host the Big in Falkirk music and arts festival .
The final element of the Helix is a giant 
playpark. A set of 
giant wooden tepee-like structures have been built in the adventure zone.

Hundreds of Kelpies gifts are available on Redbubble.

Download our free Kelpies screensavers

The Kelpies at the Helix Park open the John Muir Festival 2014

Kelpies at Helix park , GrangemouthThe Kelpies  in the Helix Park are  open to the public from Monday 21st April  . This Friday will see a stunning night-time artworks exhibition on the theme of Scotland as HOME with spectacular light, sound and flame display, by Groupe F, around Andy Scott’s iconic new cultural landmark.

 

A spectacular night-time arts event called HOME will launch both the opening of the John Muir Way and the international launch of The Kelpies prior to their opening to the public on the 21st April. On two evenings, 17th and 18th April, a selection of one-off, specially-commissioned night-time artworks will illuminate Helix Park, as thousands gather round the iconic Kelpies for an extraordinary animation of the colossal 300 tonne, 30 metre-high sculptures backed by a pulsating soundtrack.

Groupe F – the pyrotechnic maestros who worked at Big in Falkirk as well as the Millennium illumination of the Eiffel Tower – will bring the monuments to horse-powered heritage to life with a dazzling light, flame and sound performance
The celebration marks the start of a series of exciting John Muir Festival events taking place over nine days. A list of all the fantastic events on offer can be found on the John Muir Festival website.The Helix Park in Grangemouth covers a greenspace of almost 300 hectares. Opening up Scotland’s canal network, the Helix will also offer an outdoor recreational area filled with woodland, park, watersports lagoon, pathways, cycleways, and the hugely anticipated 30m landmark scupltures, the Kelpies.

Funding was provided by the Big Lottery Fund Living Landmarks programme. In 2005 the Helix project was awarded one of the top four prizes, which kick-started the £43 million project. The plans include a new 950-yard (870 m) section of canal, which joins the river below the four fixed bridges at a new sea lock. A new bridge under the M9 motorway has been constructed by cut and cover methods, and a lift bridge has been inserted into the A905 road. Two high-pressure oil pipelines which cross the area to feed the refinery at Grangemouth have been re-routed

The aim of the project is to transform under-used land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a thriving urban greenspace , “The Helix”. This includes a performance area, on which large scale events can be held, facilities for watersports provided by the construction of a large lagoon, all surrounded by play areas and high quality pathways. Access around The Helix will be provided by 27 kilometres (17 mi) of cycleways and footpaths.
Questions have been raised about the return on investment for the project . The Kelpies will be a major tourist attraction in the same way the Falkirk Wheel is , but with no cafe or restaurant facilities visitors may spend little or nothing in the area . The performance area,  which could host large scale events ,  has potential to bring in revenue to the area  , although it is not clear just how much .  Callendar Park  used to host the Big in Falkirk music and arts festival . Recently Falkirk stadium has hosted concerts by Elton John and Rod Stewart .
The final element of the Helix is giant new 
playpark. A set of 
giant wooden tepee-like structures making up the adventure zone will tower over the park.

Falkirk Council has signed off the £377,000 tender for the playpark .

Councillors were told the Helix Park is considered a “destination” for play and the design had to show it could cope with a large volume of use from children aged from three to 14, be as iconic as the park itself and the Kelpies, use materials in keeping with the park which were also durable and be innovative.

Rhona Geisler, director of development services, said: “This will be one of the prime play areas in Scotland and it is expected to be widely used.

“There was a lot of community consultation and feedback about what would be required.

“This product has been selected because of durability and is expected to last for 40 years.”

She added it is hoped the project, which is being part-funded by sportscotland, will be a “great” attraction for youngsters.