Stoke & Staffordshire

TV star to transform Stoke-on-Trent's Spode pottery site

Keith Brymer Jones

One of the stars of BBC's Great Pottery Throwdown is to open a ceramics firm inside Stoke-on-Trent's derelict Spode factory.

Keith Brymer Jones, an internationally-acclaimed ceramics expert, is behind a new factory to be based in part of the old pottery works.

The site in Elenora Street has been largely unused since the company went into administration in 2008.

Mr Brymer Jones said the move will create 50 jobs.

The main range of production would be in porcelain, a material rarely within the ceramics industry in the city.

"There aren't that many porcelain manufacturers in Stoke," Mr Brymer Jones said.

"It's mostly fine bone china or ovenware, so that's quite exciting for us as we'd be bringing porcelain into Stoke."

The Spode works is the UK's oldest ceramic factory, and in its heyday it was a thriving pottery employing hundreds of workers.

Image caption Mr Brymer Jones aims to link up with colleges and universities in the area

Mr Brymer Jones, who also has his own range of ceramics, added: "The history of Stoke and ceramics is very, very well-known. For us, made in England and made in Stoke would be an incredible achievement.

"If we don't move into Stoke in the next five to 10 years, we're going to lose a whole generation of skill sets that worked in the Potteries back in the day."

He also hopes that the new investment will improve education in the ceramics industry.

"We want to team up with local colleges and Staffordshire University to start doing some modules and courses," he said. "It's incredibly exciting, I do get incredibly emotional. It's meant to be really."

Production at the new factory is set to begin in 2018.

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