Arfon MS Siân Gwenllian believes that Gwynedd residents will be proud about UNESCO’s announcement to make their slate landscapes a World Heritage Site.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that the county’s post-industrial quarry area will become the fourth World Heritage Site in Wales, joining the Blaenavon Industrial Landscape, the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct near Llangollen, and the Castles of King Edward in Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Harlech and Conwy.

The Plaid Cymru politician said: “I know local people, many of them direct descendants, as am I, of families that depended on the quarrying industry, will feel pride about this announcement.

“It is fitting that the area receives international recognition, as the area’s history is of international importance.

“We know very well that Arfon’s slate quarries were once an industrial epicentre of the world. Slates from Gwynedd were shipped across the world.”

The MS, who represents large swathes of Gwynedd’s post-quarrying areas as part of her Arfon constituency, added: “Little did the local communities of Gwynedd see of the immense wealth generated, and I will be thinking of those generations today.

“As we reflect on the rich history of the area, we won’t just be thinking about the quarrymen, like my great grandfather, but also of their families.

“The strong women who, without their contribution, we wouldn’t be celebrating today. Our ‘resilient grandmothers,’ as the local poet Gwyn Thomas once said.”

As well as being the fourth in Wales, the slate areas in Gwynedd will also become the 32nd UNESCO World Heritage Site throughout the UK.