THE historic Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and canal have been recognised as Britain’s newest world heritage site.
The structure, which dates back more than 200 years, joins famous landmarks, including the Acropolis the Taj Mahal and the Great Barrier Reef, on the Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) list.
The announcement followed a week of deliberation by officials in Seville, Spain.
It will be a significant boost for the visitor industry in Wales.
Pontcysyllte was built by Thomas Telford and William Jessop between 1795 and 1805. It is the longest and highest aqueduct in Britain.
The bid for World Heritage Site status was led by Wrexham County Borough Council in conjunction with British Waterways and partner organisations.
Dr Dawn Roberts, economic development manager for Wrexham council, said: “We are absolutely over the moon. We have been working on this for so long and it means so much to those of us that are from this area.
“To have our aqueduct and our canal named as a World Heritage site is amazing. There is so much local pride and a lot of celebrations going on.”
She added: “World heritage status does not bring with it any prize or money, it is more of a badge of honour.”
Council leader Cllr Aled Roberts said: “This is great news. Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is a major part of our heritage and regarded very fondly by local residents.
“It is a very proud day for Wrexham to have achieved this major coup and we hope very much that it will bring economic regeneration not only to our communities along the canal corridor but those of our neighbours, Denbighshire and Shropshire.”
Pontcysyllte has not only become the 28th World Heritage inscribed site in the UK, but also the first to cross the border between two countries in the UK – part of the 11-mile length of canal extends into England.