The United Kingdom Historic Buildings Preservation Trust (UKHBPT)and The Prince's Regeneration Trust (PRT) are pleased to announce the appointment of Panter Hudspith Architects to lead the design team for the restoration and regeneration of the prestigious Grade II* listed Wedgwood Institute into a creative and vibrant centre for enterprise, employment and training. This includes the conservation of the main facade, the refurbishment of the existing building and the potential to create additional floor space.
The design team's plans will go on display as part of a public consultation this summer ahead of a planning application to Stoke City Council later this year.
UKHBPT and PRT work together to support and strengthen communities by rescuing and reusing important British buildings at risk of being lost forever through demolition or decay. They prioritise areas of deprivation – places which will benefit most from the regeneration and economic growth which they generate.
UKHBPT selected Panter Hudspith from a shortlist of five following a tender process. The winning entry will be supported by a team, which includes conservation architects Caroe Architecture Ltd, Structural Engineer Alan Baxter Ltd and Services Engineer Hilson Moran Partnership Ltd.
The brief from UKHBPT is to ‘save a nationally important historic building and create a brand new business incubation centre with quality workspaces, meeting and training rooms. The project will improve the wellbeing, quality of life and prosperity of the people of the Burslem community through economic regeneration and social support.’
There is also a requirement for event space and exhibition space to interpret the architectural history of the building, the story of terracotta architecture worldwide and display temporary exhibitions by local artists.
The new Wedgwood Institute will look to emulate the original’s unique combination of housing the arts and sciences within one building to form a vibrant business hub of between 20 and 25 businesses. The creation of up to 150 jobs on site is seen as a catalyst for the larger regeneration of the Burslem and Stoke-on-Trent area, which started with UKHBPT's hugely successful £9m restoration of Middleport Pottery.
Panter Hudspith's winning submission was one of five shortlisted entries; the other shortlisted practices were Feilden Clegg Bradley, Buttress Architects, Donald Insall Associates and Purcell. This win builds on a prosperous period for the practice, which was recently named BD Architect of the Year (Leisure) for a trio of arthouse cinema projects for Picturehouse Cinemas, which comprised the innovative and adaptive re-use of architecturally unique existing buildings. Royal Road, an affordable housing development in Southwark, London also received a RIBA National award.
Mark Panter, partner, Panter Hudspith Architects said: “I am delighted that the practice has been given the opportunity to work on such an important and richly historic building. The Wedgwood is a fine structure of national importance and our proposal for the building's sensitive and holistic regeneration will ensure it has a sustainable future for generations to come.”
Peter Jenkins, Incoming Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Historic Building Preservation Trust said: “ We are absolutely delighted to be working with Panter Hudspith on revitalising a building of such immense local and national significance and creating new facilities that the community needs and which will be a very valuable contribution to the continuing transformation of Burslem."