Catalyst for regeneration that has brought a welcome boost to Stoke-on-Trent
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios for The Prince’s Regeneration Trust
Middleport Pottery has been the home of the Burleigh potteries since its construction in 1888. Yet by 2010 the buildings were in such poor condition that the business was in threat of closure. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) stepped in to save the grade II* listed pottery and embarked on a programme of repairs, re-servicing and interventions to facilitate new uses and kickstart start local regeneration. The project won a place on the MacEwen Award shortlist for creating training opportunities and an excellent volunteer culture, as well as being sensitively completed by architect Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS). It also opens previously closed areas to the public.
Opportunities to train in traditional building training techniques were provided as part of the works, including placements for the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community craft apprentices. A ‘Get into Construction Programme’ with the Prince’s Trust was also run to give 12 young unemployed people a taster in traditional construction techniques. This led to three trainees being taken on as apprentices with the contractor William Anelay.
Throughout the project the trust held open days so local people could see the project progressing, and ran an oral history project in which local elderly people shared their memories of the pottery. Footage is now part of the visitor experience, while the project has created community space which can be hired.
‘Stoke-on-Trent could do with a few more prizes,’ commented judge Matthew Taylor.