The Kelpies sculptures have become Scotland’s best known cultural landmark and today they celebrate their first anniversary.
The Kelpies sculptures were open to the public in April last year. An exhibition of local schools kids artwork celebrating The Kelpies and The John Muir Way will also be unveiled by Kelpie artist Andy Scott. The artwork will be on display inside The Kelpies for three weeks afterwards for tour guests to admire.
Glasgow artist Andy Scott designed the Kelpies, with construction work on the 300-tonne, 98ft (30m) steel figures starting in 2013.
The completion of the £5 million venture marked a significant stage in the £43 million Helix project, which aims to transform 865 acres of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth.
The redevelopment was expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors and add £1.5 million in annual tourism spend to the area, according to those behind the project.
The number of visitors to the area are expected to reach 1 million by May 2015 .
The Easter holidays have seen bumper crowds coming to the Kelpies with families coming from all over Scotland to see the sculptures and take the tour.
. Work has started on a new visitor centre featuring Kelpies gifts at the Kelpies which should be completed in a few months time
The Kelpies have become the most famous equine sculptures in the world . But now they have been given another name to make them more attractive to Chinese tourists.
VisitBritain, which markets the UK abroad, has dubbed them ‘Kai Po Ju Ma’ in promotional literature in China – which translates as “glorious armoured giant horses”.
It follows the results of a £1.6 million ‘Great Names for Great Britain’ campaign, which builds on the existing trend of giving relatable Mandarin names to favourite celebrities, places and foods.
“Kai Po Ju Ma” have set records with over 600,000 in their first year of opening . A new visitor centre is being built to help cope with the influx of visitors and improve their experience at the sculptures.
New Mandarin names for 23 iconic Scottish attractions have been announced in total, including Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and Glencoe.
The campaign reached nearly 300 million Chinese prospective visitors to the UK through VisitBritain’s influential Weibo and WeChat social media platforms across China. Over two million people visited the campaign pages and nearly 30 million Chinese people watched the launch video, with 13,000 new names suggested throughout the ten week-long voting period.
Andy Scott, the artist responsible for the Kelpies, said: “I’m delighted that The Kelpies have reached out to a new audience and that they have been recognised with such an evocative and dynamic Mandarin name.
“It’s a real accolade for me as the artist and the whole team involved in The Kelpies that they have been adopted for the VisitBritain campaign and been so well received in China. Download our free Kelpies screensaver