A bid to have Blaenau Ffestiniog recognised as a place of global historical importance has edged a step closer.
Last week, Wales’ minister for international relations Eluned Morgan, made the case in Paris for Blaenau Ffestiniog to be recognised by UNESCO for its unique slate landscape.
The area, steeped in heritage and industrial history, boasts vast slate quarries and mines, which have not only shaped the countryside of the region, but also countless buildings across the UK and the world.
If successful, the landscape would become the fourth World Heritage Site in Wales, joining the Blaenavon industrial landscape, Harlech Castle and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.
The AM For Mid and West Wales said she hopes the status would help “revive and grow the economy” of the slate areas.
“Blaenau Ffestiniog is rich in geological, social, economic and cultural heritage, and it’s said that this area of Gwynedd roofed the 19th century world, with huge amounts of slate mined in the area and exported internationally,” she said.
“More recently, Blaenau Ffestiniog has been put back on the map.
Significant Welsh Government and EU investment has transformed the former slate-town into a booming tourism destination.
“Popular leisure activities such as Zip World and Bounce Below have made the quarry their home, attracting thousands of visitors a year, boosting employment and the local economy.
“While the final decision lies with UNESCO, the area absolutely merits World Heritage Site status.”
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