Middleport pottery gets £1.8m council loan for revamp

Middleport Pottery workshop The factory in Burslem employs 50 people making Burleigh China

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The last working Victorian pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent is being given a £1.8m loan by the city council to help with its restoration.

The council said the money would help fund a £9m project to build new workshops and a visitor centre at Middleport Pottery in Burslem.

The factory, which is owned by the Prince's Regeneration Trust, employs 50 people making Burleigh china.

It said it hoped to create another 50 jobs and increase visitor numbers.

Initial building work at the Grade II listed factory started in October.

'Job opportunities'

Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration at the City Council said the project was "important for the regeneration of Middleport."

She said: "Not only will it boost jobs and economic growth but it will also increase the area's attractiveness to residents and to visitors."

Money for the rest of the project has come from a range of sources including English Heritage, the government's Regional Growth Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donations.

Ros Kerslake, from the Prince's Regeneration Trust, said: "Our work at Middleport is not simply about restoring an historic site, we will be creating employment and training opportunities for local people."

Middleport Pottery gets about 3,000 visitors each year and the trust said it hoped to attract about 30,000 once building work had finished.

Burleigh china has been made at Middleport since 1888.

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