The restoration of one of England’s most ‘at risk’ Victorian buildings, the Wedgwood Institute in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, has been given a huge boost after the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) pledged almost £2.6 million of funding towards the project.
The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) is delighted to announce that the HLF has provisionally approved our funding bid to restore the Wedgwood Institute and has agreed to provide a £420,000 initial development grant towards design and project development work.
The Grade II* listed building is being brought back to life by PRT and Stoke-on-Trent City Council.
We are seeking funding for the main phase of works, which is expected to cost about £6.9 million in total and will transform the building into an enterprise hub and centre for start-up businesses.
The HLF expression of support is a massive step forward for this ambitious regeneration project to save the Institute from dereliction. On top of £130,000 already provided by Stoke City Council, it means about 40% of the cash is now in place, leaving a further £4.2million to be raised by PRT.
Subject to further funding being secured, work on the main phase of the project is expected to start in spring 2017, with the fully redeveloped Institute due to open in 2018-19. PRT estimates that the Institute could provide space for around 20 to 25 businesses, creating up to 150 jobs for local people, as well as room for business meetings, professional training and mentoring and community facilities.
Early next year, PRT and Stoke Council will start consulting with the local community in Burslem on their plans for the building. We will take all views into account before deciding how best to redevelop the building for modern use.
The £420,000 of development funding will go towards design and planning work up to the point that the project is ready to be delivered as well as surveys into the state of the building. It will also pay for a Burslem-based project officer who, up until the main phase of work begins, will lead the delivery of community engagement and education activities and will manage the interim uses of the building.