Middleport pottery site renovation begins

Middleport Pottery The Middleport pottery factory was bought by the Prince's Regeneration Trust in 2011

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Building work to renovate the last working Victorian pottery factory in Stoke-on-Trent has begun.

More than £8.5m is being spent to revamp Middleport Pottery in Burslem, which was bought by the Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT) in 2011.

The trust plans to put in workshops, community and education spaces, a cafe, gallery and a heritage visitor centre.

Production of Burleigh china, which has been made at Middleport since 1888, will carry on during construction.

PRT said it acquired the Grade II* listed building in June 2011 to save 50 jobs and preserve local skills.

It said it hoped to create a further 50 jobs, as well as increasing annual visitor numbers from 8,000 to 30,000.

PRT chief executive Ros Kerslake said: "We want to bring the factory up to 21st Century standards but keeping the uniqueness of how it was in 1888.

"As well as creating more workshops where new jobs can go, we're going to have more things to attract visitors at an ideal location beside the canal."

Money for the project had come from a range of sources including English Heritage, the Government's Regional Growth Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donations, the trust said.

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