A NEW canal section forming the eastern gateway to Scotland’s historic Forth & Clyde Canal was given a royal seal of approval in July as it was officially named in honour of Her Majesty The Queen.

The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh boarded the Seagull Trust barge, the Wooden Spoon Seagull, and led a small flotilla along Scotland’s newest canal section built as part of the £43m Helix project which features the internationally acclaimed, 30 metre high Kelpies sculptures, before unveiling a plaque officially naming the new section the Queen Elizabeth II Canal.

The Helix, driven by a partnership of Falkirk Council, Scottish Canals and the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, and supported with £25m in National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund along with £480,000 of funding through Sustrans Scotland’s Community Links programme, has transformed 350 hectares of underused land between Falkirk and Grangemouth into a vibrant parkland, visitor attraction and marine hub with the canal and The Kelpies at its heart. The site is now managed by Falkirk Community Trust on behalf of the partners.