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Massive horse sculptures, The Kelpies, made at SH Structures in Sherburn-in-Elmet
THE WORLD’S largest pair of horse sculptures are standing tall in Scotland – having started life in a North Yorkshire workshop.
More than six kilometres and 600 tonnes of structural steel has taken shape to form The Kelpies; a £5 million cultural landmark paying homage to the working horses of Scotland.
While the pair soar into Falkirk’s skyline, standing 100ft tall, it is not only Glasgow-based artist Andy Scott who is admiring his handiwork.
A team at Sherburn-in-Elmet fabrication firm SH Structures is celebrating the successful installation of the structures, having spent the last five years working on the project.
From taking the initial phone call in 2008, SH Structures went on to secure the design and build contract, having shaved £750,000 off the initial budget.
Each Kelpie they produced weighs 300 tonnes and contains 3,000 metres of steel tubing and 17,000 component parts.
The steel was fabricated at Sherburn before being transported to Falkirk, where the SH Structures team painstakingly pieced the structures over a 16-week installation period, using sophisticated 3D modelling software.
Tim Burton, sales and marketing manager at SH Structures, said: “This has been a fantastic and challenging project to have been involved in, and while we specialise in constructing complex structures, The Kelpies are unique and something we are delighted to be associated with.
“The delivery of this project has involved a mixture of traditional skills, technical innovation and the most up-to-date 3D modelling techniques and as well as being a stunning piece of public art it is also a fabulous piece of engineering.
“The successful delivery of the project has very much been a collaborative process involving a lot of talented individuals and organisations who have all helped to bring Andy’s original vision to life.
“Whilst we have completed the structures we still have the lighting to install which will transform the two heads dramatically at night with a state of the art lighting design.”
SH Structures, which was founded in 1992, has worked on a number of high-profile projects, including the restoration of the Cutty Sark and a new visitors’ centre at Stonehenge.
The firm also built and installed the Hungate footbridge, York’s newest bridge.
Mr Burton said: “Despite the difficult trading conditions in recent years we have continued to secure work and have a healthy order book taking us well into 2014.
“Our work has been rewarded with many industry awards and many design awards.
“Hopefully the Kelpies project will go on to win some awards next year, so watch this space.”
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