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Street Banners to Highlight Stoke-On-Trent’s Ceramic Future

19 February 2010

Stoke-on-Trent’s world class ceramic brands are to be celebrated in a scheme to promote the city.

As part of the city’s World Capital of Ceramics status scores of colourful ceramic based designs are being put up on lighting columns along the Potteries Way. The designs use images of some of the city’s 350 ceramic based companies including world famous brands such as Wades, Wedgwood and Steelite International.

On Tuesday(16) work will start to put up the 92 banners along the stretch of ring road which welcomes visitors to the city.

Sue Evans, chief executive of the Ceramic Industry Forum, welcomed the new banners as positive promotion for the city’s vibrant ceramic industries. She said: “It is great to see the city council celebrating Stoke-on-Trent’s unique long-standing connection with the ceramic industry. There are more than 200 businesses based here in Stoke-on-Trent, from world class brands to pioneering technological teams. These banners will highlight to visitors the city’s unique culture and show the region off as the World Capital of Ceramics.”

Stoke-on-Trent is home to more than 350 ceramic businesses including Wades, Wedgwood, Steelite, Johnson Tiles, Portmeirion and Aynsley. 32 per cent of the UK’s ceramic employers and 60 per cent of employees are based in North Staffordshire. Staffordshire University’s Master of Arts in Ceramic Design is recognised as one of the leading postgraduate programmes worldwide for its work in ceramic design for manufacture. Keele University’s Science Park is home to world-leading ceramics technologies and companies including BioComposites, who manufacture ceramic prosthetics.

Councillor Brian Ward, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The Potteries Way banners are part of the city’s multi-million pound regeneration plans. They will showcase some of the city’s big names in ceramics and welcome visitors as they arrive into the city. The Potteries Way is an important link road to our city so it is great that the banners will highlight what we have to offer.”

Chris Proud, Head of Marketing and Design at Steelite International, said: “The ceramic industry is a big part of Stoke-on-Trent’s future as well as its history. The banners show just how many big names are based here. The city has a wealth of creative talent and it is important that it is recognised and celebrated.”

Last year, during the launch of a major independent study into the future of ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent, ceramic industry figures united to say that the city has the right to describe itself as the World Capital of Ceramics because it has the world’s greatest mix of:

  • Ceramic heritage
  • Ceramic skills and expertise
  • Breadth and depth of ceramic manufacturing capability
  • Ceramics research and development
  • World renowned ceramic brands
  • Ceramics design and creativity

The announcement came during the first ever British Ceramics Biennial - the UK’s only festival to celebrate, showcase and support the country’s breadth of contemporary ceramics. The biennial is a 10 week festival of exhibitions, awards and events by artists such as international designer Jaime Hayon.