The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) needs to raise just £65,000 to get Middleport Pottery’s Victorian steam engine back up and running, after this week receiving a £120,000 grant towards the project.
The world-leading regeneration charity, which owns the Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, requires a total of £188,000 to restore this unique piece of historic machinery.
The engine used to provide the power for most of the machinery throughout the factory, driving the production of Burleigh ware, from clay to cup.
The restoration plans received a huge boost earlier this week when £120,000 of funding was confirmed by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM), the national body representing independent museums.
It announced that the Pottery’s engine would benefit from the annual AIM Biffa Award, which rewards projects that help transform derelict industrial buildings and sites.
The AIM Biffa Award will go towards restoring the engine and opening up the Pottery’s Boiler House, where it is located, as part of the visitor experience.
The engine, which can already be seen on the Middleport Pottery factory tour, is considered to be an important part of British ceramics history.
PRT has launched an appeal to raise £188,000 to get the steam engine back up and running by the spring of 2016. Once restored and operating, visitors would see a real steam engine function within its purpose-built context, rather than in a museum setting.