PLANS for a landmark sculpture on the border between Scotland and England have taken a major step forward, with permission being sought for a new site beside the M74.

The Star of Caledonia will be taller than the Angel of the North and is set to provide 'a huge economic boost' for the south of Scotland, with the people behind the project saying it will potentially attract around 500,000 tourists each year.

The team behind the project is now reapplying for planning permission to Dumfries & Galloway Council, having moved the proposed site less than a mile up the motorway.

News and Star: A map shows the former suggested home of the sculpture and where the new plans have been lodged.A map shows the former suggested home of the sculpture and where the new plans have been lodged. (Image: Balmond Studio)

The £11million illuminated sculpture, which would be adjacent to Gretna Green, promises to create jobs in the local area and drive more than £50million of additional tourism revenue, developers said.

Reaching a height of 35 metres, the Star will be clearly visible from the M74 and form a 'stunning welcome and farewell' to Scotland for travellers.

The project has secured funding pledges from Community Windpower, one of Scotland’s largest green energy operators, as well as from Scottish Government agency South of Scotland Enterprise and the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

The new plans include a state-of-the-art visitor centre that will showcase the Star and act as a gateway to promote tourist trails across Dumfries & Galloway and the Borders.

The centre will highlight local attractions such as the Robert Burns House in Dumfries, The Devil’s Porridge Museum in Eastriggs and Kirkcudbright Dark Space Planetarium, as well as others further along the border, including Hadrian's Wall.

News and Star: An up close artists impression of the sculpture.An up close artists impression of the sculpture. (Image: Balmond Studio)

The sculpture was designed by Cecil Balmond, who worked with Anish Kapoor on the helix-shaped ArcelorMittal Orbit tower ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Its spiral design is inspired by the work of James Clerk Maxwell, the Scottish physicist best known for his formulation of electromagnetic theory, who lived near Castle Douglas.

Balmond has said he hopes the sculpture will act “as a metaphor for the dynamism of the Scottish nation, symbolising the energy and power of Sottish invention”.

It is also hoped that the Star will put the south of Scotland on the map as a leader in the transition to renewables, as the illumination could be powered by renewable energy.

Susan Houston, chair of the Star of Caledonia Trust, the team behind the project, said: “We have always believed this project would happen. And with a new site and new plans, we have a new start.

“This revival is transformational and marks a pivotal moment for Gretna Green and the surrounding area, symbolising resilience, and adaptability in the face of challenges.

“As the Star of Caledonia gets a new home, the project is not just about a landmark sculpture but a catalyst for tourism, local economies, and community pride.”

Rod Wood, managing director at Community Windpower, said: “We believe the Star of Caledonia to be a special project and we are doing all we can to see it built.

"We are heavily invested in Dumfries & Galloway already through our operational wind farms, but we have significant plans for future developments in the region and look forward to working with relevant stakeholders to see them delivered.

“The Star of Caledonia should be seen not only as a symbol of culture and growth, but also how wind turbines can bring environmental, economic, and social benefits as well as community benefits for a huge range of organisations.

"We must continue to capitalise on these exciting opportunities.”