Kelpies have become a global success says charity

Kelpies

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22nd April 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

They opened to the public one year ago today but have quickly become one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions.

Now the charity behind The Kelpies says visitor numbers have exceeded its wildest expectations after it revealed over one million people have made the journey to Falkirk to see the impressive steel structures in the last year.

 Managed by Falkirk Community Trust, the statues have quickly become one of the country’s most iconic images and their success has gone international.

General manager Neil Brown said the Kelpies had had a "fantastic year".

He said: "We have welcomed visitors from across the globe on guided tours to The Kelpies and once our visitor centre opens in October of this year, the site will be set to be more successful.

"But equally important is the repeat visits by the local Falkirk community who have really taken the Kelpies to their heart and have become very proud of this new facility."

Designed by Glasgow artist Andy Scott, construction work on the 300-tonne, 98ft (30m) steel figures began in 2013.

We have welcomed visitors from across the globe - Neil Brown

The completion of the £5 million venture marked a significant stage in the £43m Helix project, which aims to transform 865 acres of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth.

Scott said: "I am particularly pleased as it demonstrates the regenerative effect iconic public art can have, and it seems to have created an almost tangible sense of civic pride in the local area.

"Isn't it fantastic that in their first year almost a million people have come to the Helix to see the sculptures?

"It's a tremendous reward for me as the artist, and for all the many experts and specialists from across the UK who were involved in their creation, to see them receive so many visitors and be awarded so many accolades."

The launch of the Kelpies coincided with the opening of the John Muir Way, a 134-mile coast-to-coast trail through Falkirk and central Scotland named after the Scottish naturalist who was born on 21 April.