A NEW adventure site will open in the South Wales valleys next month – providing Covid restrictions allow.

Zip World – who are behind the fastest zip-line in the world – are hoping to open Zip World Tower in the Rhigos Mountains on April 22.

They will be launching with two experiences – Zip World Phoenix and Big Red – and it has been designed to create a lasting legacy to the site’s deep-routed mining heritage.

The company hope it will represent a major boost for South Wales’ tourism – with 56 jobs being created in the first phase and a prediction of 100,000 visitors in the first year of operation.

It is their first site out of North Wales and is set on the old Tower Colliery site in the Rhigos mountain range which overlooks the Brecon Beacons. 

The Tower Colliery site closed in 2008 and before the closure it was the oldest continuously working deep coal mine in the UK. In the 1990s, it became a symbol of the miner’s resistance as workers invested their own money from redundancy payments to save the colliery from closure in 1994.


Zip World founder Sean Taylor said: “It’s been a challenging time for the tourism sector over the past year but with the opening of Zip World Tower, we feel like it will only go from strength to strength.

“We have proven experience of preserving and regenerating iconic sites and as a passionate Welshman, I couldn’t think of a better location than the South Wales valleys to create a new legacy and grow our brand outside North Wales for the first time. The whole team can’t wait to welcome thrill-seekers and families to Rhigos this spring.”

Tower Colliery chairman, Tyronne O’Sullivan, said: “It’s fantastic to have the opportunity to usher in a new chapter in the Tower story, in a way that captures the industrial history of the site and gives the local community a boost too. We were really impressed with how Zip World reinvented a slate quarry into a thriving tourist attraction at the Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales and couldn’t think of a better way to sustain the legacy of this iconic site.”

The site will be seeing relatives of former workers at the mine continue the legacy of working at the site. David Samways used to work at the coal mine as a conveyor belt fitter, his grandson Jack will be working at Zip World Tower as an instructor.

Mr Samways said: “Like many others in this area, I feel a close connection to Tower Colliery. I spent much of my working life at the Tower Colliery where we constructed miles of conveyor belt to transport the coal. Seeing things come full circle with my grandson Jack securing a job at Zip World Tower feels amazing and I’m reminded yet again of what a special community this is.”

The project was made possible with a £4.5m loan from the City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region at the end of last year.

Tickets can be bought at https://www.zipworld.co.uk/vouchers/buy