Wales

Zip World to open first south Wales adventure park

A woman hanging from a zip wire Image copyright Zip World
Image caption The new attraction in the Cynon Valley will be similar to the zip wire in Blaenau Ffestiniog

Zip World is set to open its first adventure park in south Wales, with the former Tower Colliery forming part of the site.

Three zip wire courses will be created on Rhigos Mountain in Hirwaun.

The company said it wants to bring its "unique brand of experience and adventure" to the Cynon Valley.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council leader Andrew Morgan said plans were passed by the planning committee without a single objection.

He added that the adventure park would open in 2020.

The original attraction, known as Zip World Velocity, opened at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, in 2013.

It is the fastest zip wire in the world, with thrill seekers reaching speeds of 100mph, according to the company.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The company says Penrhyn Quarry zip wire is the fastest in the world

Zip World operates 13 separate activities across three locations, all of which are in the Snowdonia National Park.

The new site in the Cynon Valley will be similar to its Titan Adventure attraction in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd.

Zip World estimates there will be about 400 visitors each day and 146,000 per year.

Image copyright Rhondda Cynon Taf Council
Image caption The company said it will conserve the coal mining heritage of the site at Rhigos

"The arrival of Zip World will bring an exciting adrenaline-fuelled tourist attraction to the county borough that will attract a significant number of visitors each  year," a report before planning committee members said.

"It also has the potential to generate a significant number of employment opportunities."

The report said it would "only have a negligible impact" on the character and appearance of the area.

"But will have a more than compensatory benefit in the numbers of people that it will attract to share in the varied and dramatic landscapes," it added.

The report also said it would help safeguard the listed former buildings of Tower Colliery for future generations.

It was the last mine to remain open in the south Wales valleys after workers bought it out, but closed in 2008.

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