19 August 2015
An aluminium smelter began production in 1907 in the village of Dolgarrog in the Conwy valley. The works was expanded in 1916 to include a rolling mill and in 1920 a hydroelectric power station was built next to the plant to supply its electricity. Smelting ceased in the 1940s and the aluminium factory was finally closed in 2007 and demolished in 2009.
In August 2013 Wigan-based Conwy Adventure Leisure obtained planning permission from Conwy County Borough Council for the development of an inland surfing lake on the site of the former aluminium works. The £12 million Surf Snowdonia attraction opened to the public on 1 August 2015.
The surf lagoon measures 300 m by 120 m and is the first commercial site to use Spanish company Wavegarden’s wave-generation technology. An underwater foil runs along the length of the central pier in the lagoon pushing water upwards and outwards to form a wave whose height can be controlled to be 0.7 to 2 metres. In addition to the lagoon, the attraction also features a glass-fronted café bar, retail facility and on-site accommodation in the form of heated timber camping pods.
On 19 August, less than a month after opening, Surf Snowdonia announced that the lagoon would have to be closed for several days in order for it to be drained to repair a mechanical fault with the wave generator.
Look out for an upcoming post featuring the wave generator back in operation…