Pottery firms and politicians in Stoke-on-Trent have devised a plan aimed at protecting the city’s ceramics industry from a further slump on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.
Manufacturers and MPs have created a recovery plan as part of efforts to save thousands of jobs in the Potteries as firms across the Stoke-on-Trent continue to shed staff as a result of Covid-19.
Now organisations including Government and the NHS are being urged to support the cause- by only purchasing tableware which has been manufactured in the city.
According to StokeonTrentLive, other proposals include a pottery scrappage scheme – which would see hotels, restaurants and other businesses paid to recycle chipped and cracked tableware and replace it with Stoke-on-Trent produced goods – as well as increased government investment in research and development, tax breaks for businesses which ‘buy British’ ceramics and expanded export opportunities.
Stoke-on-Trent South MP Jack Brereton has delivered the plan to the government.
He said: “Some of the measures in the plan are short-term, to help the industry recover from the massive impact it has taken from Covid-19. But we also want to see more investment in research, in the advanced materials side of the industry. This will mean higher skilled and better paid jobs in Stoke-on-Trent.
“As well as encouraging people and businesses to buy Stoke-on-Trent-produced ceramics, we also want the government to buy more. It may be cheaper in the short-term to buy cheap knock-offs from China, but tableware produced in Stoke-on-Trent is more cost effective, as it will last longer.
“Our ceramics are durable and chip-resistant – some items produced by Steelite have a lifetime guarantee.”
Fellow Stoke-on-Trent MPs Jonathan Gullis and Jo Gideon as well as city-based pottery firms Steelite, Portmeirion, Heraldic Pottery and advanced ceramics specialist Lucideon also contributed to the recovery plan.
It states: “Stoke-on Trent is world renowned for its ceramics industry. Our city is where the modern mass-produced pottery industry was founded by the likes of Josiah Wedgwood and Josiah Spode. To this day, names like Wedgwood and Spode are known around the world for their ingenuity and quality ceramics.
“Sadly, the sudden global Covid pandemic hit our ceramics industry and our fantastic manufacturers now face major logistical and commercial hurdles as they try and recover. They are struggling with cashflow. Orders have dropped significantly over the past few months and manufacturers are still having to fork out significant running costs on energy and equipment.”