Stoke & Staffordshire

Wedgwood collection saved after campaign raises £15.75m

A piece of the Wedgwood collection Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Image caption The collection contains about 80,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts, letters and photographs

The Wedgwood Museum collection has been bought from administrators after £15.75m was raised to save it.

About 80,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts, letters and photographs faced being auctioned to help pay off the pottery firm's pension debt.

But a public fundraising campaign launched in September hit its target in just a month.

Adminstrators Begbies Traynor said the collection will remain on display at the museum in Barlaston, Staffordshire.

The Art Fund, which led the campaign, will gift the collection to the Victoria and Albert Museum, before it is loaned to the Wedgwood Museum.

Administrator Bob Young said it had been "incredibly satisfying" to sign off on the sale on Monday.

"Today's fantastic outcome wouldn't have been possible without the spirit of goodwill and determination shown during the often complex negotiations," he said.

Image copyright Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Image caption The collection is expected to remain at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston

The Wedgwood Museum inherited Waterford Wedgwood plc's pension bill after the firm collapsed in 2009.

In 2010 the museum also went into administration, and in 2011 a high court judge ruled its collection could be sold to reimburse the Pension Protection Fund.

Alison Wedgwood, whose husband Tom is a direct descendant of company founder Josiah Wedgwood, said the collection was "important" for Staffordshire.

The collection risked being "sold and scattered around the globe" had the money not been raised, she added.

Tristram Hunt MP, who was involved in the campaign, said the sale was "fantastic news".

"The items contained within the Wedgwood collection chart a significant part of Britain's cultural development over centuries and play a crucial part in defining our national identity today," he said.

Image copyright Wedgwood Museum
Image caption Pieces created by Josiah Wedgwood, including his Portland Vase, are contained in the collection
Image copyright Wedgwood Museum
Image caption The V&A Museum will loan the collection to the Wedgwood site in Barlaston

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites