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Wales has a significant stake in industrial heritage. The slate industry is an iconic feature of North Wales, and of the Welsh nation as a whole, and has been of overwhelming importance in shaping our social and economic landscape. Its products represent one of the most geographically widespread building materials from a single source to be found on every continent. Welsh slate ‘roofed the nineteenth century world’.
It was not only slate that was exported. Gwynedd slate quarries also exported people, skills, knowledge and technology allover the world and in turn, learnt from them and their industries, The narrow-gauge railways were a crucial part of the industry and their designs and engineering were copied world-wide.
In June 2010, on behalf of a range of Project Partners, Gwynedd Council successfully presented an application to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in Westminster for the industry to be included on the UK's list of tentative World Heritage Sites to be submitted to UNESCO. The UK's tentative list was formally presented to UNESCO in January 2012. In October 2018, it was announced that The Slate Landscape of Northwest Wales World Heritage Site Nomination would be the next bid to be presented to UNESCO by the UK.