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Zip World reveals details of new adventure attraction in South Wales

Zip World Velocity

Zip World has revealed the site of its new adventure park in South Wales – its first attraction outside of North Wales.

The adventure attraction company will submit an application to develop a location in Rhigos, Rhondda Cynon Taf following a consultation period running until March 17, 2019.

Situated at the last deep coal mine to close in Wales, Zip World’s website teases that “huge plans” are yet to be revealed. The new adventure park could include popular adventure attractions from the company’s other sites, like the four-person zip wire and a forest rollercoaster.

Valued at £45 million, Zip World runs adventure experiences across three locations in North Wales. Activities include ziplines, an alpine rollercoaster, treetop adventure courses and subterranean playgrounds.

Founder and CEO Sean Taylor said: “This marks a huge milestone for Zip World and we’re enormously excited about submitting phase one of our brand of adventure to another beautiful Welsh landscape.

“A new and inspiring location for Zip World, we hope to build a world class destination providing local jobs and significant economic benefits for the region, just as we’ve done in North Wales since opening in 2013.

“We’re confident our proposals are in line with the council’s vision for the area and will continue to work constructively with them as we eagerly await the development of this iconic site.

“With our sites in Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda, we have become synonymous with Welsh slate. Now, we hope to do the same in the home of Welsh coal and revitalise the area through extraordinary adventure,” Taylor added.

Rhondda Cynon Taff Council Leader Andrew Morgan added: “It is encouraging that Zip World recognise the potential of this location for a world class tourist destination, providing new local jobs and significant economic benefits for the region.

“This proposal, subject to planning consent, would compliment other exciting tourism projects such as the Rhondda and Abernant Tunnels and future proposals for Dare Valley Country Park.”

Zip World investment to fund ambitious growth strategy

Zip World has grown rapidly since it launched its first superfast zip line at Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda in 2013.

According to a 2018 report from North Wales Tourism, the company has contributed £251 million to the North Wales economy over the past five years.

Zip World has created 450 permanent jobs at 11 attractions across three sites in North Wales, with 93% of the staff living locally.

In January, leading mid-market private equity investor Lloyds Development Capital (LDC) took a minority stake in Zip World to facilitate its ambitious growth strategy.

LDC’s investment will support Zip World’s growth strategy to add new attractions to its current sites and rollout its adventure experiences across the UK and beyond. The business has ambitions to double in size over the next three years.

Blooloop previously spoke to Zip World co-founder Sean Taylor about the company’s community-minded business model that is breathing new life into one of Britain’s most deprived areas.

Images and video: Zip World

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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