The Wheel was constructed under Millennium plans to reconnect the Forth and Clyde canal with the Union Canal. Previously, a series of 11 locks connected these canals. However in the 1930s, they were dis-used, and were infilled. Using funds from the National Lottery, the Millennium Commission regenerated the canals of Central Scotland to connect Glasgow with Edinburgh once more. Designs were submitted for a lock to link the canals, with the Falkirk Wheel design winning.