National park authority chief executive Aneurin Phillips, First Minister Carwyn Jones and authority chair Caerwyn Roberts in front of the building work at Ogwen.Photo: Alan Dop

National park authority chief executive Aneurin Phillips, First Minister Carwyn Jones and authority chair Caerwyn Roberts in front of the building work at Ogwen. Photo: Alan Dop

Wales’s First Minister said a new building in the heart of Snowdonia will be an asset for walkers and climbers.

Carwyn Jones visited the construction site in the Ogwen Valley yesterday, to see work on the new centre, which will replace the old warden’s office and visitor centre.

The previous building was originally designed as a garage, snack kiosk and toilets at the end of 1970 and over the years was converted to provide office, storage area and interpretation.

The new Ogwen centre is due to be completed in the summer and will include an office, toilets, changing areas, food kiosk and an interpretation area.

Mr Jones said: “With around 250,000 visitors a year Llyn Ogwen and the Cwm Idwal national nature reserve are important attractions.

“The new facility being built will offer better facilities for the walkers, climbers and families who come here. It will be a real asset for the area and the tourism industry.”

The project is a venture by the Cwm Idwal Partnership, which includes Snowdonia National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust.

The park authority’s chief executive Aneurin Phillips said: “Our intention is to boost the economic prosperity of the area.

“We can achieve this by not only improving our services to the people who come here to enjoy the area, but by ensuring that we are using local materials and local manpower.

“The materials to build the centre come from Penrhyn Quarry over the mountain and Cwt y Bugail Quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog and local companies from Pwllheli, Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Colwyn Bay and Bethesda are carrying out the work.

“The scheme also means that while working here, a number of local apprentices have also gained experience and opportunity to develop their craft, under very difficult circumstances at times.”

Euros Jones of Natural Resources Wales added: “Natural Resources of Wales is delighted to support these improvements through our Can funding programme.

“The aim is to create a resource for visitors which is worthy of this special place.

“Cwm Idwal became Wales’s first national nature reserve in 1954; it is home to rare Arctic-Alpine plants and is an unrivalled destination for the thousands who appreciate the special character of the Eryri mountains.”

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