A giant pair of equine sculptures — which cost £5 million to build— were completed at a ceremony in central Scotland today (November 27).

The Kelpies, which stand 30m tall, have been designed to pay homage to the working horses of Scotland’s past.

More than 6 kilometres and 600 tonnes of structural steel was used to create them. Engineers have also added 10,000 special fixings to secure the “skin” of the 2 horses to the steel framework.

Keith Brown MSP and Sculptor Andy Scott put in the last rivet to complete the Kelpies

Keith Brown MSP and Sculptor Andy Scott put in the last rivet

The horse head structures are part of the much larger Helix project, which is transforming 350 hectares of land between Falkirk and Grangemouth. It is funded via a partnership between The Big Lottery Fund, Falkirk Council and Scottish Canals.

Scottish artist Andy Scott was behind the design for the enormous sculptures.

“It is almost 8 years since I did the first sketches of the project on my then girlfriend and now wife’s kitchen table in Amsterdam, so to see them completed here today is both humbling and fantastic,” said Mr Scott.

Sculptor Andy Scott with Clydesdales, Duke and Baron at the unveiling of the Kelpies

Sculptor Andy Scott with Clydesdales, Duke and Baron at the unveiling

“I have always been fascinated with horses and the heavy horse was the driving force in industry until after the Industrial revolution.

“There is an ancient and almost primal link between man and horse. The Kelpies you see here today are an outstanding exemplar of art and engineering coming together to deliver something really special for the people of Falkirk and Scotland.”

Kelpie UnvielingThe entire development, which will open in 2014, is expected to attract an additional 350,000 visitors and boost tourism in the area by £1.5million a year.