North West Wales

Zip line backed for Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, Gwynedd

Plans for what is claimed to be the longest zip line in Europe have been given the go-ahead in Gwynedd.

The 1,500m (4,921ft) long zip line will be built in the disused part of Penrhyn slate quarry in Bethesda.

Council planners backed the project, which developers hope will attract 30,000 visitors a year.

Developer Zip World Ltd says it will be 700ft (213m) above a lake, and it is also exploring plans for a longer line.

Spokesman Sean Taylor said the wire, to open within months, would be of a "world standard".

The company claims the zip wire will be the world's second longest, with the longest currently in South Africa.

It says the £500,000 project will create up to 20 jobs, and could be open by the summer.

Mr Taylor said: "We're hoping to open the longest zip line in the northern hemisphere later on this year."

He added: "I'm really grateful to Gwynedd County Council.

"I think it's going to be fantastic for the local area, the local economy, fantastic for Wales as a whole."

He said he wanted the line to be one of the "premier attractions in Wales, adding that for users, "it's the nearest they're going to come to flying".

He said users would hit speeds of up to 70mph (113km/h), and it would be an "absolutely fantastic experience for everyone".

The new company is exploring the possibility of building another zip line at Llechwedd quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog, which could possibly be longer than the one proposed for Bethesda.

Gwynedd planners also approved a timber centre, a new car park and a shorter 450m (1,476ft) long zip wire.

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