AN ICONIC tourist attraction has contributed £81 million to the economy, according to a report released ahead of a major anniversary.

The Helix in Falkirk, home to the Kelpies, will be marking its 10th anniversary on Saturday, April 27, as tourists from around the world descend on the iconic statues. 

According to a report by Scottish Canals and Falkirk Council, the giant metal structures, which stand at 100ft (30m) tall, have contributed £81m to the economy in the last 10 years.

This includes creating 110 full-time jobs and increasing local tourism by 73% since their construction.

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It also states that 7.3m people have visited the attraction in the last decade with around 300,000 people participating in cultural events since it opened.

Scottish Canals’ chief executive officer John Paterson said the Kelpies have been a tremendous investment not just for the people in Falkirk but for the whole of Scotland.

He said: “We know the value public art can bring to local people and communities, art on this scale, however, requires real bravery to take forward, invest in, and to deliver.

“Today’s report cements what Scottish Canals and all involved in the creation of The Kelpies knew from the outset, these truly special equine sculptures, linked so closely to Scotland and the canals’ industrial heritage, transcend borders and bring real economic value and vibrancy to the world.

“The Kelpies and their Helix park setting have proven to have been a tremendous investment for Falkirk and Scotland, and already in their first ten years, have paid back wide-ranging benefits many times over.

“They have been a tremendous investment and have established their rightful place, as one of the most notable icons of Scotland.

“They are true giants in more ways than one.”

The National:

To celebrate 10 years of the Kelpies there will be free family activities throughout the day with Ceilidh dancing and a live pipe band.

There will also be live music later in the day with performances from both singer Callum Beattie and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Falkirk Council Leader Cecil Meiklejohn said the event will be a fitting way to celebrate the legacy of one of Scotland’s most iconic structures.

He said: “The Kelpies stand tall as icons of Scotland, embodying the spirit of innovation and heritage.

“As we mark this milestone, we reflect on the profound impact these magnificent structures have had on Falkirk and beyond.

“With a return on investment of almost 8:1, the Kelpies have not only captured the world's attention but have also fuelled local growth, with significant economic benefits to the local area.

“The Kelpies are also an important part of Falkirk’s identity and regeneration story – helping create attractive places and quality of environment.

“We look forward to celebrating the ten year anniversary of these iconic sculptures at the weekend when the Kelpies 10 event will mark their legacy and the bright future they continue to inspire."