North West Wales

Anglesey's South Stack lighthouse 'set to reopen to public'

South Stack Image copyright Gav Hardie

One of Wales' best-known landmarks could reopen to visitors this summer, a local community group has said.

Anglesey council used to run tours of South Stack lighthouse but surrendered its lease on the building in March.

A new not-for-profit organisation, Ynys Lawd Heritage Group, said it has struck a deal with owners Trinity House and hopes to welcome visitors again within a few weeks.

Trinity House said it was still in the last stages of the tender process.

The local authority gave notice on the lease in November 2016 as part of a plan to make almost £3m of budget savings.

It was estimated the move would save about £13,000 in running costs.

Image copyright Richie Roberts

John Cave, one of eight members of the new heritage group, said they were waiting on final paperwork from Trinity House but aimed to start running tours "within four weeks".

"We feel the lighthouse is a gem, for Anglesey and for Wales," he said.

"We all thought it would be a great shame if it was to close to the public so we formed this group.

"We will keep on the six part-time guides who worked here and any profit we make will be reinvested into South Stack and into other local community projects."

The 91ft (28m) lighthouse was built just off Holy Island in 1809 and is visible for 28 miles out to sea.

It attracts up to up to 19,000 visitors a year between Easter and early October.

Access to the whitewashed buildings and its tower requires some effort - with 400 steps down onto the South Stack island outcrop itself.

"We are delighted," Mr Cave added. "It's great for tourism in north Wales, the island and especially for Holyhead, which really needs people to come and visit."

Image copyright Iwan Williams

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