On Tuesday, 24 June 2014, The Prince of Wales will visit to Stoke-on-Trent. Prince Charles, Patron, the Canal & River Trust, will meet the museum volunteers who have worked on preserving the world’s last working steam-driven Potters’ Mill. During his first engagement, The Prince will also meet primary school children and young people involved in education programmes run by the Canal & River Trust at Etruria Industrial Museum.
The Canal & River Trust is the caretaker of 2,000 miles of historic waterways across England and Wales. They are among the largest charities in the UK, conserving the nation’s third largest collection of Listed structures, as well as museums, archives, navigation’s and hundreds of important wildlife sites.
Prince Charles is an ardent supporter of the waterways and became the first Patron of the Canal & River Trust when the charity was created in March 2012.
The museum is home to Jesse Shirley’s 1857 Bone and Flint Mill which created the raw materials to make English Bone China. At its peak, the mill was producing 80 to 100 tonnes of product per week and supplied well-known china manufacturers such as Spode, Royal Doulton and Wedgwood.
In 1972, commercial production came to an end at the mill. A group of local volunteers and Stoke-on-Trent City Council worked to restore the mill and it is now the only operational steam-driven Potters’ mill in the world.
The Potters’ Mill buildings are all Grade II* listed and the mill site is a scheduled ancient monument.
Charles, President of The Prince’s Regeneration Trust will make a visit to Middleport Pottery to commemorate the completion of a £9 million project led by his charity, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, after they stepped in to save the site from closure in June 2011.
The Prince called on key people and organisations to aid the project and has continued his involvement in its progress. This will be his fourth visit to Burslem in the past three years and several of his charities are collaborating with local organisations to encourage local regeneration and economic growth.
As the UK’s last working Victorian pottery, Middleport Pottery has been home to world-renowned Burleigh ware for 125 years. From July 1st Middleport Pottery will open as a new visitor attraction where the public can learn about the people and events that have shaped the Pottery’s history.
Through this project, 50 jobs were saved with an additional 30 jobs created. The goal is for 30 additional jobs to be added. In-keeping with The Prince’s promotion for the preservation of traditional skills, the works have also generated craft training opportunities. This has included work placements for apprentices from The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community and a Prince’s Trust ‘Get into Construction’ course which gives unemployed young people a taster in traditional construction techniques.
Whilst at Middleport Pottery, Charles will visit exhibition stands for six local companies brought together by U.K.T.I. to explain the complexity and reach of export activity in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the Government Department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy.