Bid to transform North Wales site into 'world-class visitor attraction'

Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru (National Slate Museum) -Credit:Aled Llywelyn/Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru
Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru (National Slate Museum) -Credit:Aled Llywelyn/Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru

Welsh Government says its funding of more than £1m is helping an attraction in Gwynedd become "world class". The Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru (National Slate Museum) in Llanberis already attracts thousands of people every year.

But it is redeveloping to enhance its offer and has secured a near £10m pound National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. Funds from the lottery and Welsh Government have already helped progress the redevelopment, including maximising museum space for collections and activities and ensuring there is appropriate office space for employees.

The lottery money will also help it became the main interpretation site for the Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the aim of developing new creative spaces. Based at the foot of what was one of the largest slate quarries in the world, Dinorwig Quarry, the museum is housed in what were the original engineering workshops, built in 1870, which once employed well over 3,000 workers.

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The quarry closed in 1969 before reopening as a museum in 1972. It was redeveloped in 1999 with new facilities and plans for a further redevelopment are progressing.

In 2021 UNESCO awarded World Heritage Site status to the slate landscapes of northwest Wales in recognition of its role in “roofing the 19th-century world“.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, Lesley Griffiths said: “The Bank Holiday presents a great opportunity for people to visit our museums and learn more about the incredibly interesting stories they have to tell. The slate industry is an important part of the communities, landscapes and heritage of this part of Wales and the National Slate Museum offers a unique opportunity to glimpse into the lives of the slate workers and their families.

“I have been very impressed with what I’ve seen, and I am pleased the Welsh Government, along with the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has been able to provide funding towards its redevelopment and ensure it continues to offer great experiences for all visitors. I would encourage everybody to visit the Museum and learn more about the fascinating history of the area’s slate industry.”

Chief Executive of Amgueddfa Cymru, Jane Richardson said: "We’re excited to work with the Welsh Government and our partners, Cyngor Gwynedd and National Lottery Heritage Fund, as we redevelop the Museum into a UNESCO World Heritage site hub. This transformational project will allow us to create spaces to support traditional skills, learning and wellbeing and better connect with everyone, from local communities to those from further afield, enabling them to find their story through our national collection.”

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