New lease of life for slate mine home
The first phase of a £1.4 million project to convert Plas Weunydd into a hotel on the Llechwedd Slate Mountain site has now been completed with support from the Welsh Government.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, today met with Alastair Altham, Chairman and Michael Bewick, Managing Director of J W Greaves & Sons Ltd to see how the development of their 4-star, 24-bedroom hotel is progressing. With the first phase complete, the hotel will open to the public in Spring 2020.
Plas Weunydd is the latest phase in a long program of regeneration for Slate Mountain (situated at the Llechwedd Slate Mine), using adventure and heritage tourism as the focus. Currently, visitors have had to seek accommodation outside the immediate area.
The building was originally the home of the Greaves family who started the mine in the early 19th century and then more recently was made into offices for the mine, before standing empty for some years.
The project was supported by £380,000 through the Micro & Small Business Fund (MSBF) through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.
The creation of a mountain bike experience through Antur Stiniog and three Zip World products at Slate Mountain in recent years as well as a brand-new Deep Mine heritage tour and Quarry Explorer tour have seen Llechwedd re-invent itself and attract more than 225,000 visitors annually, rebranding this year as Slate Mountain to reflect the exhilarating range of experiences available on site.
Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:
“I’m delighted that we’ve been able to support this high-quality development which will be a very welcome addition to the serviced accommodation in this area of north Wales. Investment in high quality accommodation is one of the priorities of our tourism strategy. This development means that the area can offer a high-quality package of activities and accommodation - and ensure that the many visitors who come to this area for our world class adventure product can stay for longer and spend more locally which will be a boost for the economy.”
Alastair Altham, himself a direct descendant of the Greaves family, said:
“We are so proud that we have been able to reinvigorate everything at the mine, keeping a long tradition alive and ensuring that we continue generate real employment and wealth for our community. The hotel is the latest chapter in an incredible rebirth story, which will see us announce further plans later this year.
“None of this would have happened without our incredible team and the unfailing support of the local community in and around Blaenau Ffestiniog.”
A glamping development has already opened on the site as part of this accommodation scheme, creating 6 luxury safari tents located on a hillside with panoramic views across the Vale of Ffestiniog and set between the bike tracks, zip lines and slate mine. It has been awarded Visit Wales’ Gold Award for accommodation – only the fifth of its kind to win the award.
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