Stoke & Staffordshire

Pottery firm Emma Bridgewater creates 70 jobs in £1m investment

Emma Bridgewater and husband Matthew Rice Image copyright Emma Bridgewater
Image caption Emma Bridgewater established her firm in 1985 which she runs with her husband Matthew Rice

Pottery firm Emma Bridgewater is creating 70 new jobs as part of a £1m investment over the next three years.

The Stoke-on-Trent-based company said it is set to increase production of its handmade pottery by 40% by 2019.

To help reach that target, the firm, which sells the majority of products in the UK, opened a new warehouse in the city on Monday.

Founder Ms Bridgewater said it was "incredibly exciting" to be expanding.

Image copyright Emma Bridgewater
Image caption Emma Bridgewater Ltd produced more than 1.3m pieces of pottery in 2015, the company said

She currently employs about 200 staff since establishing the company in 1985 and the new jobs will be in manufacturing, customer service and distribution, as well as seasonal posts.

The new 38,000 sq ft distribution and customer service centre in Fenton is less than a mile from its Victorian-era factory and visitor centre in Lichfield Street, Hanley.

"It is incredibly exciting to be expanding, creating 70 new local employment opportunities and be a part of rebuilding the community around our factory," Ms Bridgewater said.

Image copyright Emma Bridgewater
Image caption The firms said 45,000 pieces of pottery will be made by hand each week by 2019

Stoke-on-Trent has been known as a ceramics heartland, but has seen more than 20,000 jobs go between 1998 and 2008.

Tom Reynolds, policy manager at the British Ceramic Confederation, said: "This is very positive and welcome news for the pottery industry in North Staffordshire.

"To capture even more growth in the sector, the government needs to secure a comprehensive trade settlement with the EU and a level playing field with global competitors."

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