Stoke & Staffordshire

Wedgwood pottery appeal given £100,000 by JCB

Wedgwood Museum Image copyright bbc
Image caption The collection, which is housed in the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, has more than 80,000 pieces

The digger firm JCB has donated £100,000 to help save the Wedgwood Museum pottery collection.

JCB chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said the donation recognised the important "deep roots and long links with manufacturing in Staffordshire".

The Art Fund said it had raised more than £2.3m after an "extraordinary tide" of recent donations.

It needs £2.74m to buy the collection by 30 November, before administrators sell it to the highest bidder.

The collection is being sold to help pay off some of the ceramics firm's pension bill.

The pension debt was inherited by the museum after Waterford Wedgwood Plc collapsed in 2009.

Image copyright Phil Sayer
Image caption This Wedgwood teapot is one of 80,000 pieces in the collection

Its collection of more than 80,000 historical pieces, works of art, photographs and archival material from Wedgwood's 250-year history is valued at £15m.

The Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said the appeal had received "exceptional" public support in addition to a pledge of £13m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

JCB's donation, through the Bamford Charitable Foundation, has been match-funded by a private charitable trust, giving £200,000 to the appeal.

About 8,000 former workers were paid by the Pension Protection Fund, and in 2011 a judge ruled the collection could be sold to pay back the remaining debt.

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