Tayside and Central Scotland

Falkirk Wheel reopens to public after maintenance work

Falkirk Wheel Image copyright Peter Sandground
Image caption The Falkirk Wheel will remain open during the £1m revamp

The Falkirk Wheel will reopen to the public on Saturday after a month-long closure.

The world's only rotating boat lift closed on 9 November for annual inspections and maintenance.

Scottish Canals' engineers carried out an "MoT" of the wheel's mechanical systems, water pumps and computer programmes.

The wheel was also drained of water so that teams could repair and replace thousands of mechanical parts.

The iconic structure has attracted more than 6.6 million visitors since it opened n 2002.

Paul Berry, Scottish Canals' project manager, said: "As the world's only rotating boat lift, many of the parts that make up the Falkirk Wheel are custom-built. It is essential we carry out regular maintenance to ensure the wheel continues to operate safely."

The wheel links the Forth and Clyde Canal to the Union Canal 35m (115ft) above and is Scotland's busiest tourist attraction outside a city centre.

It opened as part of the Millennium Link, an £84.5 million project that restored Scotland's inland waterways to a navigable state for the first time since the 1960s.

The structure weighs 1,200 tonnes but uses just 1.5kWh of energy to turn, which is the same amount as it would take to boil eight household kettles.

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