Electric Mountain Refurbishment Update (24/02/2021)
As many will be aware, since 2018 we have been working on plans to redevelop the Electric Mountain Visitor Centre (EMVC) in Llanberis. Those in the vicinity of the site or visiting the area may have seen the temporary buildings that have been in operation which helped to continue to run the tours of Dinorwig Power Station for the 2019 season.
Beyond the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic the redevelopment project has met some insurmountable challenges, which have sadly forced us to cancel the refurbishment of the facilities.
In particular there has been an acceleration of major engineering works at Dinorwig necessary to extend the operating life of the power station for the coming decades. The works will unfortunately mean that for the next several years it will not be possible to facilitate underground tours - which have traditionally been a cornerstone of EMVC’s offering. At this stage there are no plans in place to reopen a new visitor centre building after completion of the works.
As the plant manager, I fully understand the importance of the visitor centre within the local communities, the supporting role it has played as part of North Wales tourism and as such the decision to bring the refurbishment project to a close was a very difficult one indeed.
In the light of this decision, it now becomes a priority to make the visitor centre safe before the building deteriorates further and this may require removal of the existing structure. Alongside this the team is considering short-term options for the site. Long term plans for the site will be considered in due course but it is too early at this stage to suggest what these may be.
The power station underneath Dinorwig Quarry remains a feat of engineering that is of national significance and we would hope to find an alternative, viable way, to showcase its operations in the future. As always, we will remain engaged with the communities through supporting local projects, schemes and events - and continue to work with forums in the interest of the local area.
I am sorry to have to convey this news to those that were looking forward to the new visitor centre. We will update the communities on alternative plans as they progress.
First Hydro Company
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