Hamilton horses find permanent homes

November 19, 2014 | Community News

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Hamilton’s favourite horses from the Ready Steady Gallop event have been put out to pasture in the town for good, thanks to a generous donation from local business Banks Group.

The hugely successful summer event featured 25 life-size Clydesdale horse sculptures planted all over the town as part of a bid to increase community engagement and encourage visitors.

As one of the sponsors of the project, organised by Hamilton Business Improvement Development (BID), Banks Group donated £20,000 from its Community Fund to allow the two most popular horse sculptures to be re-created.

Hundreds of locals cast their vote in an online competition, run by the Hamilton Advertiser, to choose which two uniquely designed horses they wanted to join their community – permanently.

Two names finished ahead of the field – Cameron and Horsepower – who have now both been replicated, painted and given their new homes, much to the delight of residents.

Cameron 2 has been homed at the junction on Leechlee Road and Brandon Street, while Horsepower 2 now lives next to the Holiday Inn as you enter the town.

Gareth Walker, Hamilton BID Manager, said: “The event was a huge success and we are very grateful to Banks and all the other local business and people who supported it.

 “People in the town were sad to see the colourful horses leave the streets, so it will be nice to have their two favourites back on show.

“Having these horses in the town permanently leaves a strong legacy for Hamilton and will hopefully bring back fond memories of a fun event for years to come.”

Organisers behind the event said the event saw over 200,000 visitors to the area, sparking the local economy and community back to life.

Clydesdales were chosen because the giant horses played such a crucial part in the region’s history. Along with the 25 large sculptures, 30 smaller, one metre high horses were also scattered around Hamilton, designed by children from 27 local primary schools.

After 10 weeks of being on public display, the 25 6ft horses were put up for auction, raising £67,800, for the East Kilbryde Hospice.

Colin Anderson, Director at the Banks Group said: “We are a great believer in the community working together and that is clearly one of the core concepts of Hamilton BID.

“The Ready Steady Gallop event brought a lot of fun and colour to the streets of Hamilton and we hope that by introducing these two horses to the area on a permanent basis we can continue that.

“We’re delighted to have been part of the original project.”

The Hamilton based Banks Group is a specialist property, mining and renewable energy firm with a strong stake in the region.

Two of Banks Renewables’ wind farm projects in South Lanarkshire have been approved by the Scottish Government in the last year and together will produce enough electricity to power almost 80,000 homes and will require an investment of approximately £200 million to build.

Middle Muir Wind Farm, north of Crawfordjohn, is expected to provide a £25 million boost to the local economy, while Kype Muir Wind Farm, some 5km south of Strathaven will produce enough energy to power almost 50,000 homes and inject upwards of £44million into the area.

Banks Renewables recently submitted an 18 turbine extension to Kype Muir Wind Farm, with high levels of support from the surrounding communities. If approved, this would increase the total estimated local investment from the combined 44 turbine Kype Muir project to £139 million over the 25 year life cycle of the wind farm.

For more information on this project please visit,  http://www.banksgroup.co.uk/kype-muir-extension

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