Stoke & Staffordshire

Burslem Wedgwood Institute restoration begins

Wedgwood Institute, Burslem
Image caption The Grade II-listed building has stood empty since 2008, when it was closed due to structural problems

Work has begun to refurbish a former teaching institute which has been listed as one of the most at-risk Victorian buildings in England.

The derelict Wedgwood Institute, in Burslem, is being restored at a cost of more than £850,000, using grant money.

The work is being carried out by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and the Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT), who will offer it to start-up businesses.

The local authority said it could create about 150 jobs.

Rosie Fraser, from the Prince's Regeneration Trust, said: "It will be a hub for business start-ups and we hope people will come in and there will be ideas flourishing and people will be wanting to come and use these spaces."

The initial building work to carry out urgent roof and weatherproofing repairs and make the ground floor accessible, is expected to be completed in July.

Sarah Lewis, from English Heritage, said: "The Wedgwood Institute is one of the top 6% of listed buildings in the country for not only its architectural splendour but also the social history it embodies."

Image caption The institute was built in 1869 as a library and school for ceramics, arts and sciences
Image caption The building was listed as one of the 10 most at-risk buildings in England and Wales by the Victorian Society

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