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Slate Mining Landscape receives World Heritage Site nomination

The Slate Mining Landscape of North West Wales has been nominated to become the UK’s 33rd UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the government saying that it could boost investment and create new jobs.

Running throughout the Welsh county of Gwynedd, the site is known for its historical ties to quarrying, with the Welsh slate industry having employed approximately 17,000 people, producing 485,000 tonnes of slate a year by the 1890s.

Welsh slate can be seen in buildings such as Westminster Hall, the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne and Copenhagen City Hall in Denmark.

Having been formally presented to UNESCO by heritage minister Helen Whately, the site will now be considered by the International Council on Monuments and Sites over the next year, before being considered for inscription at the World Heritage Committee meeting in 2021.

“The incredible slate landscape is hugely significant to North-West Wales and its industrial heritage,” said Whately.

“The area is described as having ‘roofed the 19th-century world’ and the slate from the mines continues to have an influence on architecture around the world.

“This nomination is an excellent way to recognise the importance of Wales’ slate mining heritage and will bring benefits not only to Gwynedd but the whole of North Wales by attracting visitors, boosting investment and creating jobs.”