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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 21:59 GMT 22:59 UK
Plan to create huge parkland site
The project would see 750,000 trees planted
A project to transform an empty site near Falkirk into a major area of parkland has been unveiled.

Plans for a mile-long canal link, 21 miles of path and cycleways and 750,000 trees at the 750 acres space have been outlined by the local council.

The ambitious project would be located between Grangemouth and Falkirk.

The move, also backed by British Waterways Scotland and Central Scotland Forest Trust is dependent on a funding bid to the Big Lottery Fund.

The project, dubbed "The Helix" because of the spiral shape it would form from Langlees to Laurieston and Polmont, aims to create jobs and attract businesses to the area, as well as improving the environment for residents.

Quality of life

Falkirk Council environment convener Robert Spears said it would be an excellent use of a large area of land currently of little use.

He said: "Our vision and that of our partners is to see the area fully regenerated with a heavy emphasis on the environment and our ambition is to see communities accessing these facilities and raising their quality of life," he said.

The result of the initial finance bid to the Big Lottery Fund is expected in August and, if successful, more detailed proposals will have to be submitted.

The final decision is expected by September 2007.

Community vision

Richard Millar of British Waterways Scotland said the project, which will be shaped from ideas provided by the community, would provide much needed entrance improvements on the Union Canal at the River Carron.

"We are at very early stages but we are hoping that we get the opportunity to work in partnership and develop this ambitious project, taking the community's vision and blend it with landmark structures, heritage, nature and art to deliver exceptional and sustainable improvements to local people's lives", he said.

Central Scotland Forest Trust chief executive Simon Rennie added: "Local people are proud of this area and its history.

The Helix forms part of Falkirk's 10-year regeneration vision to create up to 4,250 jobs, bring in as much as 200m of additional investment and generate up to 50m a year for the local economy.

1m for major Falkirk jobs plan
08 Jun 06 |  Tayside and Central
Falkirk predicted to grow further
05 May 06 |  Tayside and Central

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