The Government has put forward the slate landscape of North West Wales, focussed in Gwynedd, as its nomination for UNESCO World Heritage Status.
The area has already been assessed for World Heritage Status by a UK-based panel and will be formally presented to UNESCO next year. Following this, it will be considered by the International Council of Sites and Monuments, before going to the World Heritage Committee for approval in 2021. The areas covered are primarily in and around the Snowdonia National Park.
If approved, it will join other World Heritage sites in the North West including Liverpool’s Waterfront, the Lake District National Park, and the Castles and Town Walls of King Edward, which is also in Gwynedd. It would also be Wales’ fourth World Heritage site; there are 31 others around the UK.
Earlier this year, the Government put forward Jodrell Bank in Cheshire as its nomination; the site has recently undergone an evaluation by UNESCO’s advisors, and a decision on its status will be made at the organisation’s annual committee meeting next summer.
The UK can nominate one site per calendar year, meaning the slate landscape’s nomination will be put forward in mid-2019.
Michael Ellis, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, said: “Gwynedd’s slate landscape is hugely important. Its vast quarries and mines have not only shaped the countryside of the region but also countless buildings across the UK and the world.
“This is a crucial milestone on the road to becoming a World Heritage site and the global recognition that brings. While the UNESCO nomination process is very thorough, I believe this unique landscape would be a worthy addition to the list.
UK Government Minister for Wales, Mims Davies said: “It gives me great pleasure to see that the world-renowned slate landscape of Gwynedd has been selected as the UK Government’s preferred UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination.
“An accolade such as this not only highlights the immense beauty and history that Wales has to offer but also acts as a catalyst to investment and tourism. The status which is globally recognised would help to revive and grow the economy of the slate areas that have had such a significant influence on the communities and heritage of North West Wales.”