ZIP WORLD'S value as a business has hit £45 million after it secured a "significant" minority investment from Lloyds Development Capital (LDC).

The leading mid-market private equity investor has bought out two shareholders and will be providing a cash injection and additional expertise to help take the business to the next level.

Since launching its first superfast zip line at Penrhyn Quarry in Bethesda in 2013, Zip World has grown rapidly and now employs 450 workers.

The award-winning business is expected to use its new financial backing to boost its hopes of adding new attractions in Wales - and rollout its extraordinary experiences to the rest of the UK and beyond.

Zip World director and co-founder Sean Taylor believes the sky is now the limit for the adventure tourism brand, with ambitions to double in size by 2022.

“Having built an exciting brand, we are focused on scaling up and will be looking at compatible businesses to acquire," he said.

"We have ambitions to deliver Zip World’s iconic experiences to more customers and create more unique new attractions too.

"LDC shares our enthusiasm and vision and we now have the additional capital and expertise needed to fire up our growth plans in Wales and beyond.”

A 2018 study by North Wales Tourism calculated that Zip World had directly contributed £251million to the local economy over the five years of its existence.

The business now runs adventure activities from three locations, Bethesda, Blaenau Ffestiniog and Betws-y-Coed.

LDC say they are looking forward to helping the company expand even further in the near future and working alongside Sean Taylor and managing director David Stacey.

Sean has driven the strategy and growth of the business from the beginning. David has more than 23 years of experience of running multi-site leisure businesses and was UK operations director during his time at Virgin Active before joining the Zip World team in 2016.

Dewi Hughes, investment director and head of LDC in Cardiff, said: “We have had a longstanding relationship with Sean and Zip World team, and we’ve seen the business grow to become one of Wales’ biggest and most loved leisure brands over the last few years.

"Zip World is exactly the type of business we look to support. It’s a proven model being driven by a strong management team with a clear ambition for the future. We’re looking forward to getting off to a flying start."