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A step closer to achieving World Heritage status for the slate landscape of North-west Wales

Bethesda and Penrhyn slate quarry (©Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales - RCAHMW)

The bid to secure World Heritage status for the slate areas of Gwynedd has reached the final stage before UNESCO decides whether the nomination will secure the designation.

Following consideration from the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee will now make a final decision on the application at their meeting in late July. If accepted, the landscape will earn its place as the fourth UNESCO World Heritage Site in Wales.

The application includes the communities of Dyffryn Ogwen; Dinorwig; Dyffryn Nantlle; Cwmystradllyn and Cwm Pennant; Ffestiniog and Porthmadog; Abergynolwyn and Tywyn. The bid – led by Gwynedd Council – is a partnership between a number of organisations including Snowdonia National Park, the National Trust, Bangor University, the Welsh Government, Cadw, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and the National Museum.

Councillor Gareth Thomas, Gwynedd Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Community, said: “The nomination of the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales for World Heritage status is about celebrating and sharing the best of what our slate areas have to offer to the world, historically and today.

“We are delighted that all the hard work involved in the application has reached this exciting stage of the process and we’re looking forward to the final decision shortly.

“As part of the bid, our aim is to help provide a better understanding of the significance of the Welsh slate industry and its role not only in shaping our communities, language and culture but also in roofing the world and exporting technologies and people all over the world. It is an integral part of our history and heritage that deserves international recognition.

“The application is a very important opportunity for us to celebrate and recognise the unique culture, heritage and language of the quarrying areas and to take pride in the contribution of this area to humanity and the world.”

Alongside the nomination process, Gwynedd Council has secured funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund Great Place Scheme, Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig and the Snowdonia Partnership to work across the county’s quarrying communities to empower, reconnect and revitalise those communities – through the LleCHI (Your Place) project. This work includes projects focusing on interpretation, art, events, exhibitions and the creation of Young Ambassadors and Ambassadors in communities and businesses.