Electric Mountain Visitor Centre
The Electric Mountain Visitor Centre was made available by First Hydro for a range of community events and activities. However, the Visitor Centre was underused and too large for the range of activities that it accommodated. The building was inefficient and expensive to heat and maintain and many of the building services were approaching the end of their operation life and required replacement. In October 2018, First Hydro obtained planning permission for the refurbishment of the Visitor Centre to include the partial demolition of the existing building, together with associated landscaping works.
In the meanwhile, a programme of mid-life operational improvement works to Dinorwig Power Station has been identified and agreed and these works, which are due to commence shortly, are likely to take several years to complete. First Hydro will be unable to offer public visits to the Power Station whilst the programme of mid-life improvement works is taking place.
First Hydro has sought to secure the building; however, vandalism, security and consequential liabilities are a cause for ongoing concern and the disused appearance of the Visitor Centre adversely affects the visual amenity of the area. Consequently, First Hydro have submitted an application to Gwynedd County Council; Application Reference Number: C22/0239/15/LL (Gwynedd | Council Direct | Application | 32768 (llyw.cymru)) which proposes to demolish the existing Visitor Centre building and to bring the site back into a use which is beneficial to local communities. It is proposed to develop the site as a flexible community area and extended car park area with fast electric vehicle charging points, soft landscaping for the site, provision of bat and bird nesting boxes are proposed and brash piles will be created within the adjacent woodland areas as a mitigation measure for habitat. The existing switch room/electricity sub-station, presently contained within the structure of the existing visitor centre building, will be retained and re-clad in new facing brickwork and a pitched roof will be added using recycled natural slate from the existing visitor centre building.
First Hydro confirms its intention to maintain an open dialogue with various stakeholders and consultations that are being undertaken presently in the area. These include Gwynedd Council’s consultations on the development of a Regeneration Framework for discrete areas within the County, including Llanberis, with a view to identifying a range of social, environmental and structural improvements to be taken forward by local communities. The improvements that are identified, in due course, could feed into longer term plans for the further re-purposing of the visitor centre site.
We recognise that the Electric Mountain Visitor Centre has played a part in community life and there is a strong local desire to see the site developed in such a way that provides benefits to the local area. We have been working hand-in-hand with community representatives and local partner organisations to establish a suitable future for the site.
Should you have any questions about the redevelopment project, or if you require more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.