Zip World, the adventure company behind the fastest zip-line in the world, has today announced that all being well, its new site in South Wales, Zip World Tower, will be opening to visitors on 22nd April.
Launching with two new experiences, Zip World Phoenix and Big Red, the site has been designed to create a lasting legacy to its deep-routed mining heritage.
Zip World Tower represents a major boost for South Wales growing tourism economy – with the development creating 56 jobs during its first phase and forecasting 100,000 visitors within the first year of operation.
Funding for the project was made possible as a result of a £4.5m loan from the City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region at the end of last year.
Sean Taylor, founder of Zip World, said: “It’s been a challenging time for the tourism sector over the past year but with the opening of Zip World Tower, we feel like it will only go from strength to strength.
“We have proven experience of preserving and regenerating iconic sites and as a passionate Welshman, I couldn’t think of a better location than the South Wales Valleys to create a new legacy and grow our brand outside of North Wales for the first time. The whole team can’t wait to welcome thrill-seekers and families to Rhigos this spring.”
In what is the company’s first site outside of North Wales, Rhigos in the South Wales Valley will now be home to one of the UK’s most impressive outdoor adventure locations.
Launching with two new experiences including Zip World Phoenix, which will be the world’s fastest seated four-person zip line, the site has been designed to create a lasting legacy to its deep-routed mining heritage.
Set in the iconic Rhigos mountain range with stunning views that overlook beautiful Welsh landscapes including the Brecon Beacons, the Tower Colliery site is steeped in history.
Before its closure in 2008, it was the oldest continuously working deep coal mine in the UK. It became a powerful symbol of the miners’ resistance in the 1990s, as workers invested their own money from redundancy payments to save the colliery from closure in 1994.
Tyronne O’Sullivan OBE, chairman of the Tower Colliery, said: “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to usher in a new chapter in the Tower story, in a way that captures the industrial history of the site and gives the local community a boost too. We were really impressed with how Zip World reinvented a slate quarry into a thriving tourist attraction at the Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales and couldn’t think of a better way to sustain the legacy of this iconic site.”
David Samways, a former conveyor belt fitter at the coal mine whose Grandson will be working at Zip World Tower as an instructor, said: “Like many others in this area, I feel a close connection to Tower Colliery. I spent much of my working life at the Tower Colliery where we constructed miles of conveyor belt to transport the coal. Seeing things come full circle with my Grandson Jack securing a job at Zip World Tower feels amazing and I’m reminded yet again of what a special community this is.”