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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 May, 2005, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Snowdon cafe appeal 'seeks firms'
Artist impression of new Snowdon café
The planned £9.2m visitor centre should blend in with the landscape
Organisers of the appeal for a new Snowdon centre are confident of corporate sponsors, after confirming the public had donated just £10,000.

But they say the public was never expected to give the cash and that sponsorship deals had been drawn up.

The £2m sought is the last of £9.2m needed to replace the concrete structure which Prince Charles once labelled "the highest slum in Wales".

The new building will cater for 350,000 visitors to the mountain every year.

I would not expect the public to come up with £2m in two weeks' time - that was never the intention
Rhodri Ellis Owen

The café was built in 1935 by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, who was also behind the picturesque Italianate village of Portmeirion.

Previous attempts to redevelop it failed because of a lack of cash but last year authority planners approved a design.

It consisted of stone and glass building - designed to placate conservationists and blend in with the scenery, replacing the existing concrete block housing the cafe and mountain railway station.

Snowdonia National Park Authority and the Snowdon Society said they have already raised £7.2m of the money needed to replace the existing railway station and cafe, built in 1935.

The Welsh assembly has pledged £3m and the appeal is also on course for £3.6m from Europe's Objective One regeneration funding scheme.

The Wales Tourist Board and Snowdon Mountain Railway have each pledged £200,000 or more. The park authority is making a similar contribution.

Old-look café on Snowdon
The run-down current café was called a 'slum' by Prince Charles

Appeal organisers said they are optimistic the businesses and wealthy individuals they are talking to will provide the £2m they seek by the 31 May deadline.

While refusing to discuss any details of negotiations, a spokesman said a "platinium" sponsorship deal was available for the company which gave £2m.

It would give the firm full and exclusive title rights on the new building, including the right to named it.

A "gold" deal is on the table for firms which stump up £1m, offering "comprehensive branding of all appropriate components within and immediately outside the centre".

A firm which donated £250,000 would have a "silver" deal, giving branding rights on a part of the visitor centre such as the weather station or ranger station.

'Private sector'

With the clock ticking, appeal organisers this week launched a website to enable online donations.

The hope is that it will make it easier for people living outside the UK to contribute to the battle to replace the current 1935 concrete structure.

Appeal spokesman Rhodri Ellis Owen said: "I would not expect the public to come up with £2m in two weeks' time. That was never the intention.

"In reality, we can get more response in terms of money by looking at business and the private sector."

An estimated that 350,000 visitors make the trek to the top of Wales' highest mountain every year by train or on foot.

Worldwide appeal for Snowdon café
04 Apr 05 |  North West Wales
Bodies combine over cafe 'slum'
25 Mar 05 |  North West Wales
Appeal over Snowdon's cafe 'slum'
16 Mar 05 |  North West Wales
Snowdon café plan secures £3m
14 Oct 04 |  North West Wales
Demolition for Snowdon 'slum'
21 Jan 04 |  North West Wales

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