PLANS for a landmark sculpture on the Border between Scotland and England have taken a major step forward.

Permission is being sought to build the Star of Caledonia – a sculpture designed by Cecil Balmond which is set to be taller than the Angel of the North – on a new site beside the M74.

The £11 million illuminated sculpture would be adjacent to Gretna Green and is set to create jobs and drive more than £50m of additional tourist revenue in the area.

It is set to reach a height of 35-metres, making it clearly visible from the M74.

Once built it is hoped the sculpture will become an iconic landmark for those entering and leaving Scotland by car.

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Susan Houston, chair of the Star of Caledonia Trust, the team behind the project, said: “We have always believed this project would happen. And with a new site and new plans, we have a new start.

“This revival is transformational and marks a pivotal moment for Gretna Green and the surrounding area, symbolising resilience, and adaptability in the face of challenges.

“As the Star of Caledonia gets a new home, the project is not just about a landmark sculpture but a catalyst for tourism, local economies, and community pride.”

The project has secured funding pledges from Community Windpower, one of Scotland’s largest green energy operators, as well as from Scottish Government agency South of Scotland Enterprise and the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

The National: The new site for the proposed Star of Caledonia sculptureThe new site for the proposed Star of Caledonia sculpture (Image: Star of Caledonia Trust)

The new plans include a state-of-the-art visitor centre that will showcase the Star and act as a gateway to promote tourist trails across Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders.

The centre will highlight local attractions such as the Robert Burns House in Dumfries, The Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs and Kirkcudbright Dark Space Planetarium, as well as others further along the border including Hadrian's Wall.

The sculpture was designed by Balmond, who worked with Anish Kapoor on the helix-shaped ArcelorMittal Orbit tower ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Its spiral design is inspired by the work of James Clerk Maxwell, the Scottish physicist best known for his formulation of electromagnetic theory, who lived near Castle Douglas.

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Balmond has said he hopes the sculpture will act “as a metaphor for the dynamism of the Scottish nation, symbolising the energy and power of Scottish invention”.

It is also hoped that the Star will put the south of Scotland on the map as a leader in the transition to renewables, as the illumination could be powered by renewable energy.

Rod Wood, managing director at Community Windpower, said: “We believe the Star of Caledonia to be a special project and we are doing all we can to see it built.

“We are heavily invested in Dumfries and Galloway already through our operational wind farms, but we have significant plans for future developments in the region and look forward to working with relevant stakeholders to see them delivered.

“The Star of Caledonia should be seen not only as a symbol of culture and growth, but also how wind turbines can bring environmental, economic, and social benefits as well as community benefits for a huge range of organisations. We must continue to capitalise on these exciting opportunities.”