The Helix

To create an international landmark, we took a motorway to pieces

How do you dismantle the M9 without commuters noticing? That was just one of the challenges we faced when Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals asked us to help realise their £43m regeneration project, the Helix Park.

Gleeds project management, cost management and building surveying services ensured the project partners achieved the best possible value from Scotland’s largest ever “Big Lottery Fund Grant” of £25m.

A monumental achievement

Our team resolved major civil engineering issues without disturbing the daily operations of critical facilities by:

  • Constructing over both of Scotland’s hydrocarbon pipelines
  • Diverting the primary water supply for the Grangemouth oil refinery
  • Dismantling and rebuilding the M9 without disturbing traffic


miles of new pathways connect the park with the local communities.

Linking community and the environment

At the heart of this 350HA project are the Kelpies: two 300ft, 30m high, steel horse heads – iconic sculptures fast becoming a major tourist attraction and a tribute to the area’s industrial history. Other enjoyable spaces added to connect local communities include:

  • An extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal
  • A 100-acre park with a lagoon and a café
  • Improvements to wetlands and woodlands to protect and increase biodiversity in the area
  • A new network of paths and cycle ways connecting surrounding areas
  • A new access road and car parks
  • Love and Kisses – public art installation by Jephson Robb

Award winning eco-park

The Helix has created a green space everyone can enjoy. Having attracted well over 200,000 visitors since its opening, it’s fast becoming a new Scottish landmark. No wonder, then, it’s started to attract awards, too. To date, these include:

  • Saltire Society 2014 Civil Engineering Award
  • 2014 National Lottery Award – Best Environment Project

To find out more follow @HelixFalkirk 

I’ve very much enjoyed working with Gleeds on this project. They’ve integrated with the rest of the consultant team extremely well. Mike King, Programme Director, The Helix
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Alan Dickson

Alan Dickson