Former Stoke-on-Trent historic pottery site to get new lease of life

Developers are being given the opportunity to breathe new life into a former historic pottery site in the heart of a Stoke-on-Trent town.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council is calling for expressions of interest for Spode, in Elenora Street, Stoke. The 10 acre historic former pottery site, owned by the city council, is at the heart of Stoke Town next to the town hall and neighbouring University Quarter.

The site and its historic buildings is a focus of the Stoke Town Masterplan which is currently being produced by URBED, with DTZ, Arup and Gehl architects.

The city council is asking developers to send in expressions of interest for developing the site by 14 February so that developer interest can be reviewed alongside the masterplan process.

“The former Spode pottery site is an intrinsic part of Stoke Town. At the moment the city council is exploring all the options available for not only the town as a whole but the Spode site as well. It is important that this process is interlinked.”

Developers have until 14 February to register their interest at Respondents will then be asked to provide further details on their vision for the site and how they propose to deliver it.

URBED was appointed to produce the Stoke Town masterplan in September last year. An exhibition last month gave residents a first glimpse at initial proposals for the development of the town. Once comments from the exhibition have been analysed preferred options for the masterplan are due to be unveiled in Spring.

Spode ““ a world renowned, iconic name in design and ceramics ““ was based at the Spode Works site until 2008. It occupies a relatively rectangular and level site of almost 10 acres. Approximately half the site is cleared, creating a potential 5 acre development site; the remaining site area is occupied by predominantly listed buildings of both heritage merit and development potential.

Portmeirion Pottery, based in Stoke Town, acquired the Spode brand in 2008 and continues to produce both the ranges that made the Spode name as well as contemporary Spode designs.

Progress on the Stoke Town masterplan and the current options is available at

Plans Go On Display For Regeneration of Stoke-on-Trent Town

Proposals for the regeneration of a Stoke-on Trent town are going on display for the first time as the city council explores options for bringing a former historic pottery site back in to use.

On Wednesday, 1 December, and Saturday, 4 December, URBED the team which is developing a masterplan for the regeneration of Stoke Town, will be asking residents what they would like to see in the town.

A double-decker Routemaster bus will be touring Stoke Town on both days showcasing options for the masterplan. Plans include details on possible new residential areas, retail spaces and ways of incorporating improved extra public space in to the town centre. As part of the masterplan consultation Stoke-on-Trent City Council is also asking for residents and developers to come forward with ideas for how the 10 acre Spode site can be developed to kick start the regeneration of the town. The city council will be asking for expressions of interest and suggestions for how the former Spode site can be brought back in to use both in the short and long term.

“The event is designed to explore all the options available to boost development and regeneration in Stoke Town. The town has a wealth of potential. The former Spode pottery site is just one example of the town’s heritage appeal and has real commercial potential. The masterplan is designed to look at ways in which the town can be developed to boost footfall and create complementing uses that will regenerate the historic town.”

URBED was appointed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council in September and this is the first time residents have been able to get a glimpse of the proposals being put forward for the development of the town. Following the consultation comments will be used to develop a more detailed preferred option for the town. This detailed design is then due to be shared with residents early next year.

“The aim of the masterplan is to develop a shared vision and strategy for the town centre and former Spode pottery site based on an imaginative and deliverable set of proposals. We would welcome your views on the options to ensure we are developing ideas that meet your aspirations for the future of Stoke Town.”

The double decker Routemaster bus will be at the following locations:

Wednesday 1 December:

10.30am to 12.30pm – Staffordshire University, Leek Road Site, Opposite the Students Union

1pm to 8pm – Stoke Town Market Square

Saturday 4 December:

10.30am to 13.30pm – Stoke Town Market Square

14.00pm to 15.00pm – Former Victoria Ground ““ junction of Campbell Road and Fletcher Street

15.15pm to 4pm – Boothen Gardens ““ in between Villa Street and Summer Street

The plans can also be viewed online at

Prestigious Team To Revitalise Historic Stoke Town

The design team behind the popular Bristol waterfront development Temple Quay 2 are set to breathe new life in to the heart of a historic Stoke-on-Trent town.

URBED, which has played a successful role in major regeneration projects across the country, has been chosen to lead the Stoke Town masterplan.

The team, which includes Jan Gehl Architects, who designed Copenhagen’s public spaces, DTZ and Arup and is led by Manchester based URBED, is looking at ways to revitalise the current town centre as well as the neighbouring world renowned former pottery works Spode.

The legacy of the town’s ceramic heritage will be brought to life through contemporary uses of the remarkable heritage buildings and redevelopment opportunities offered by the Spode site. Ideas being explored through the masterplanning process include Creative Courts and Spode Lanes – made up of alleyways of cobbled streets with small independent shops and creative art spaces ““ as well as Circus Squares, with open space for street theatre and dance.

More immediate uses for the important site will also be woven into the masterplanning process with a combination of leisure uses, creative low cost studio spaces and exhibition and performance space all creating possible short term uses.

“The appointment of URBED is a significant step in the regeneration of the historic town of Stoke. The team have worked on successful projects across the country and I am keen to see the vision they have for transforming Stoke.”

The appointment follows a public consultation on the five short-listed teams’ concept drawings which showed residents were keen to see heritage buildings brought back to life, improved transport connections, a wider range of retail, quality open space and public realm, a pedestrian friendly town centre and regeneration plans that deliver jobs.

Over the next six months the team will pull together a detailed masterplan for Stoke Town incorporating the Spode site and connections to the University Quarter and Stoke Station. The designs, which will incorporate short-term uses as well as a longer term vision, will be worked up in consultation with the community and potential investors to make sure that it is a community led plan with real deliverability.

“As a team we are really excited about this new project and the opportunity to design the future plans for the historic town. This is an important heritage site and it is vital that the masterplan respects the past while creating something new and exciting. Our masterplanning approach is based on the three R’s ““ first rediscovering what was there before, then repairing the tears in the urban fabric before renewing the area with a new and contemporary urban layer.”

The masterplan will guide investment in to the town over the coming 10 to 15 years. It will also show how the historic town centre pottery site, Spode Works, can be redeveloped to play a significant role in the regeneration of Stoke Town.

Spode Works, in Elenora Street, Stoke, lays claim to the longest continuous period of pottery production. Built in 1759 the 10 acre site consists of buildings of international heritage significance and offers a unique opportunity to develop a mixed-use scheme which will lead to the regeneration of the town.

Stoke Town is home to Stoke Minster where some of the town’s most famous potters are buried including Josiah Spode and Josiah Wedgwood. The town is also home to the city’s Civic Centre, railway station and the rapidly developing University Quarter.

Spode Works, in the heart of the town, is probably best known for its blue-printed pottery and Willow Pattern. The company also invented bone china, which has been the standard British porcelain now for more than two hundred years. The Spode brand is still in production with Portmeirion Pottery continuing to produce many of the collections in the iconic brand.

The Spode Works site was acquired by the company’s founder Josiah Spode in 1776 and was operational as the Spode Works until 2008. The factory underwent extensive rebuilding and enlargement in the 1820’s and 1830’s. The more interesting buildings, in the courtyard in the northwest of the site, were Grade II listed in December 2007. The site is now recognised as being of national importance. It offers a remarkable opportunity for sensitive redevelopment in order to lead the regeneration of Stoke Town.