YOU ARE HERE at the Wedgwood Institute

Press Release

28th September 2016                                                                                                                    

YOU ARE HERE at The Wedgwood Institute - 5th to 8th October!

RESTOKE shows the creative potential of The Wedgwood Institute

The United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) and The  Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT) are pleased to be bringing the first live performance to the Wedgwood Institute.

Stoke-on-Trent based RESTOKE will perform YOU ARE HERE - an intimate and extraordinary exploration of home, migration, culture and belonging by performers who have either moved, or been moved, to Stoke-on-Trent - from Wednesday 5th October to Saturday 8th October.

The performance involves dance, live music and spoken-word in different rooms in the Wedgwood Institute, enabling the audience to move around and experience different parts of both the performance and the Wedgwood Institute.

The performance takes place in the middle of a public consultation on the future design plans for the Grade II* listed Wedgwood Institute.

UKHBPT, The Prince's Regeneration Trust and Stoke-on-Trent City Council are undertaking the £6.9million restoration and regeneration of the Wedgwood Institute. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has pledged almost £2.6million of funding towards the project, and provided a £420,000 initial development grant towards design and project development work. 

Sarah Richardson, Project Officer at UKHBPT, believes YOU ARE HERE will show the public one example of how the building can be re-used for the benefit of the community.

"This is a really exciting event as it shows the future potential of the building after it's been restored. I hope it will make people stop and think about the many creative ways there are for the building's future use, and how Stoke's historic heritage can successfully support local creative organisations and businesses and be used by the wider community as a place of learning, inspiration and enjoyment," said Sarah

"As a former place of learning and education for the people of Stoke it is appropriate and a privilege for RESTOKE to be breathing the real life stories of people now living in Stoke into the once forgotten rooms of the Wedgwood Institute," said Clare Reynolds, Director and Choreographer of RESTOKE.

Tickets for YOU ARE HERE are £15 and available from the New Vic Theatre box office or by calling 01782 717 962. Evening performances start at 7:30pm and there is a Saturday matinee performance at 1pm. The performance lasts one hour. There will be a bar open before and after the show.    

All members of the public are invited to the next public consultation on the design plans for the Wedgwood Institute on Monday 17th October from 11am - 1pm.



For further information and pictures, or for interviews, contact:

Marcus Stanton, Communications, The Prince's Regeneration Trust/UKHBPT T:020 8617 0210 M:07900 891287 

About the Wedgwood Institute

The Wedgwood Institute is a landmark historic building in the centre of Burslem that is Grade II* listed. It measures approximately20,000sqft and is situated in the Burslem Conservation Area. The regeneration of this building should have a catalytic effect on the regeneration of the wider town.

Funded entirely by public subscription, the Institute was built between 1863 and 1869 as a philanthropic establishment providing classes in science, business and the arts to the working men of Burslem. It was named after legendary 18th century Stoke potter and anti-slavery campaigner Josiah Wedgwood, who played a key role in the industrialisation of the pottery industry. Burslem-born Wedgwood once rented a pottery works on the site of the building.

The Institute has a highly decorative terracotta façade featuring mosaics and sculptures, including a full-size statue of Wedgwood above the main entrance. The exterior also features10 bass relief terracotta panels depicting the pottery manufacturing process.

In its early days, the Institute was home to Burslem School of Art and Science before that moved into the building opposite in 1905. The Institute also provided a free library. Later in the twentieth century, Staffordshire University took over the running of the building, but the space became unsuitable for modern higher educational use and it was abandoned by the university in 1993. The final tenant, a branch of Stoke-on-Trent City Council library, left in 2007, since when the decline of the building has significantly accelerated. By the beginning of 2015, the condition of the roofs, internal and external walls, and windows, particularly at the rear of the building, was very poor.

Over the previous ten years, a number of schemes were put forward to conserve and reuse the building but none have materialised.

The long-term regeneration project aims to revive the Institute as a creative and vibrant centre for enterprise, employment and training. It seeks to deliver this vision in the context of the work of the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust (UKHBPT) and The Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT) who specialise in saving historically and locally important buildings at risk, and investing in their renovation to bring regeneration to areas of social and economic deprivation.

The Prince's Regeneration Trust/UKHBPT

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is a world-leading regeneration charity working in hard-hit areas of the UK to rescue and re-use local buildings to transform lives. Its vision is that restored buildings become the heart of thriving communities. It uses its subsidiary, UKHBPT, to carry out its own building preservation projects. Over the past 20 years it has worked on over 90 projects saving about 1.4 million square feet of buildings and has created about 1,800 jobs. The Prince’s Regeneration Trust is committed to: 

·         focusing on the most deprived communities in the UK, which can most benefit from heritage-led regeneration 

·         focusing on complex projects where other efforts by the public or private sector have    failed – that is, where its help is most needed  providing expertise to communities to help them lead the way on regeneration projects themselves.

It runs an innovative 4 year UK wide community education programme called BRICK which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund. This is designed to support community groups which are trying to save their local heritage and create a better future for their local area. Through workshops, mentoring and online support, BRICK can help groups find the funding they need and successfully deliver their projects.

For more information please visit:

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery @HLFWestMids