A VISITOR centre at a historic slate cavern is set to get an upgrade. A scheme to revamp Zip World’s Llechwedd Slate Caverns visitor centre, which attracts thousands of visitors to the region each year, has been agreed with conditions by Gwynedd Council planners.
The attraction is located in Blaenau Ffestiniog, a historic mining town renowned for once being the ‘slate capital of the world’. The slate landscapes that surround the town were awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2021.
The Llechwedd site includes a host of attractions above and below ground including a deep mine tour on the steepest narrow gauge railway in the UK, zip lines and an underground trampoline facility called ‘Bounce Below’
The project will now see the “reworking and renovating” of the existing facilities at the award winning attraction. As part of the plans, a new two storey building complete with a restaurant and classrooms will be built at the site.
A new lobby area will also be placed onto the front of the existing visitor centre along with a ‘glass link’ to connect the two buildings. The application was made by Rhodri Owen of Zip World Limited – which runs the site – through Dewi Williams of DEWIS Architecture.
It was agreed with conditions on July 17. A heritage impact statement described Llechwedd as “an important attraction in North Wales” and as “an essential cultural and historical resource.”
It went on to say: “The requirement for the re-development of the site has long been identified, the decision to utilise and extend the existing as opposed to re-building entirely being the right one in terms of striking a balance between respecting the history of the site over time and ensuring that the site has a commercially sustainable future.”