Clydesdales Coming Home Thanks to £20,000 Donation By Local Firm

by Heather Peebles

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Hamilton Horses The two most popular horses taking part in the successful Ready, Steady, Gallop! event, currently running in Hamilton, will remain in the town thanks to a £20,000 donation from a local firm.

The Banks Group has provided the funding from the Banks Community Fund to ensure the community’s two favourite horses will be put out to pasture in the town….permanently.

Ready, Steady, Gallop! has resulted in 25 life-size Clydesdale horse sculptures, each individually designed and painted by artists, being placed around the town to form an art trail – already attracting tens of thousands of visitors to Hamilton and the surrounding area.

The 6ft 2ins fibreglass statues will go under the hammer in aid of The Kilbryde Hospice when the 10-week event draws to a close in early September.

Now the Hamilton based Property, Renewable Energy and Mining business has agreed to a grant of £20,000 from the Banks Community Fund to ensure that two of the sculptures will stay in the town on a permanent basis – with local people asked to vote for their favourite horse.

The Ready, Steady, Gallop! event was organised by Hamilton BID with the aim of bringing 200,000 visitors to the area, to help revitalise the local economy and bring the community together.

Gareth Walker, Hamilton BID manager, said: “The support Banks has given this event has been fantastic and the two permanent Clydesdales selected by the community will provide a lasting legacy for the town.

“We’ve been delighted with the amount of interest in Ready, Steady, Gallop! so far and we expect that pace will continue until the finish line!

“I’d encourage everyone to get out and have a look at all 25 runners so they can pick their personal winner.”

Clydesdales were chosen for the event because the giant horses played such an important role in the region’s history. Along with the 25 large sculptures, 30 smaller, one metre high horses have been designed and painted by children from 27 local primary schools and hidden around the town, for people to try and track down.

As well as having an office and 15 staff in Hamilton, Banks Group has been a major investor in South Lanarkshire for over 20 years and currently is developing a number of wind farms and property projects in the area.

Local Backing

In May the company secured approval for its 26 turbine Kype Muir Wind Farm, near Strathaven. This project has led to the development of a unique community partnership as a means of maximising local benefits and supporting the local economy and environment; which in turn has resulted in widespread community and business support.

Kype Muir Wind Farm is expected to deliver an £86 Million injection into the local economy and is guaranteed to generate over £11Million of community revenues to support local projects, groups and initiatives.

Colin Anderson, development director at the Banks Group, said: “Ready, Steady Gallop! is a fantastic event, with community at its very heart.  Given Banks Group’s commitment to community working and direct community engagement, we are therefore proud and happy to support it.

“The event got off to a flier and it’s been great to see the impact it is already having in and around the town. We hope that keeping two horses permanently in the town will help create a visible legacy for the town and support the efforts being made to get people excited by Hamilton again and all the fantastic things it has to offer!

“We are a great believer in the community working together to improve the standard of living for everyone and that is clearly one of the main aims of Hamilton BID.”

Banks Group (www.banksgroup.co.uk) is a family firm founded in 1976, which now employs 420 people in the renewable energy, property and mining sectors. The company’s development with care approach underpins all its activities and strives to define best practice in community working and sustainable development

Private: Heather Peebles

Based as a PR in Edinburgh, Heather Peebles is a highly-valued member of the team at Holyrood Partnership. Her work with the Scottish public relations consultancy sees her advising clients in healthcare, construction, renewables and logistics. As well as delivering numerous successful PR campaigns, she is also experienced in crisis PR and reputation management.

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