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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 20:15 GMT
Snowdon building - piece by piece
The current cafe on the summit
The existing 1930s cafe is set to be demolished in autumn 2006.
It's the highest spot in Wales and England, with temperatures dropping to minus 20C, 100mph winds, and the summit is the remains of an extinct volcano.

Little surprise, then, that replacing the cafe on the top of Snowdon was always going to be a tall order.

Unusual jobs need unusual solutions, and it is likely the new complex will be built beforehand in a warehouse.

Then it will be taken apart and hauled section by section up 1,085m (3,560ft) on the mountain railway.

At a meeting on Monday members of Snowdonia National Park Authority voted unanimously to press on with the process of summit rejuvenation.

The design and construction plans are still being finalised, but a spokesperson for the authority said it was likely that the "trial run" building will be constructed next year.

Snowdon's own railway, well known to the tourists who flock to the peak for its spectacular views, would then be called into service for its less than familiar cargo.

Walkers will still have access to the summit during the construction work, and it is hoped a mountain webcam will chart the progress from start to finish.

Funding approval

Members of the Snowdonia National Park Authority were told at Monday's meeting that the money for the £8.35m new summit building had now been raised.

SUMMIT CAFE CONTRIBUTIONS
Welsh European Funding Office (Wefo) - £4,216,500
Assembly government - £3m
Wales Tourist Board - £300,000
Snowdonia Park - £270,000
Snowdon Railway - £217,000
Public appeal - £346,500

The authority gave its backing to the first stage of the construction process to ensure European money is not lost.

The proposed cafe complex, which would also include a new terminus for Snowdon Mountain Railway, must be completed by no later than early summer 2008 to qualify for European funding.

This means the existing 70-year-old existing building, once called "the highest slum in Wales" by Prince Charles, must be demolished in autumn next year to allow contractors on site.

A £4.2m grant from the Welsh European Funding Office (Wefo) has been set aside for the project.

Snowdonia
A public appeal for the £1.4m shortfall did not raise the money.

But that money will not be officially committed until Wefo carry out a full appraisal of the scheme, and give the plans their final approval.

About 350,000 people visit Snowdon each year.

Snowdonia National Park Authority and the Snowdonia Society launched a worldwide appeal in April 2005 to raise the final £1.4m then needed to begin the project.

The closing date to raise the remaining sum was first set for June but was later extended indefinitely.


SEE ALSO:
Snowdon £9m cafe appeal extended
28 Sep 05 |  North West Wales
Lord Snowdon at namesake peak
21 Aug 05 |  North West Wales
Worldwide appeal for Snowdon café
04 Apr 05 |  North West Wales


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