Project in focus: Falkirk Canal
The Falkirk canal corridor is the link between the Kelpies and the Falkirk wheel, finishing below the Union Canal. As part of an extensive development programme by Scottish Canals, the Falkirk canal corridor was the first phase to be upgraded. The increasingly popular area is one of central Scotland’s busiest tourist spots and the upgrade is hoping to attract even more visitors.
Merson Group were contacted with a brief to manufacture and install information hubs along the canal trail. The information hubs were designed to serve three purposes; to aid navigation, to encourage people to explore and to educate visitors about the rich history surrounding the local area. Our job was to translate the design concept completed by Four-by-Two into a construction ready visual fit for fabrication in our 50,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Glasgow.
The first information hub is at the Falkirk Wheel which connects the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal. The Falkirk Wheel is arguably Scotland’s finest piece of engineering. Opened in 2002, the world’s only rotating boat lift reconnected the two canals for the first time since the 1930s. The second information hub is at the Kelpies. Standing at 30 metres tall, the horse head sculptures designed by Andy Scott have quickly become an iconic reference point for tourists and the local community. The Kelpies were built to represent Scotland’s horse powered heritage and are the largest equine sculptures in the world.
The installation stage of this project was challenging because the three metre tall structures were to be situated on the path side of the canal which meant there was no road access directly to the site. To overcome this we brought in a spider crane to carry the monoliths across the canal meaning they could be installed safely and quickly with little disruption to the canal route.
Merson Group are delighted to have improved visitor navigation in and around the canal corridor whilst establishing a clear sense of presence and we hope that everyone from walkers and runners to cyclists and boaters will be encouraged to explore more of Scotland’s industrial heartland and historical trails.