As if the news of 346 impending redundancies wasn’t bad enough, the Wedgwood factory suffered an expensive break-in on Friday, with an estimated £180,000 of wares stolen.
A considerable number of Wedgwood and Royal Doulton Prestige wares were stolen (Royal Doulton is part of the Wedgwood group).
You can read full details here, including a list of the most valuable items stolen.
Naturally, be suspicious if you are offered any of these pieces at unusually low prices in the near future…
Struggling Stoke potter Wedgwood has confirmed that 346 jobs will be axed at its Barlaston factory.
According to this local newspaper report, 150 workers volunteered for redundancy but almost 200 more will now face compulsory redundancy.
Waterford Wedgwood PLC (of which Wedgwood is part) has been trying and failing to successfully refinance its considerable debts for some time and Wedgwood itself is not expected to make a profit in the near future.
The redundancies, which represent around 35% of its 1,000 Staffordshire workforce, will be phased in throughout the next year.
For more details, click here.
In 1999, the Wedgwood Museum at Barlaston closed to make way for a new factory visitors’ centre. Since then, Wedgwood’s vast collection of ceramics, manuscripts and other historical material has been kept in storage, unavailable to the public.
That’s all set to change this summer when a brand new Wedgwood Museum is due to open in Stoke-on-Trent. It will have cost £10m and is expected to draw 100,000 visitors a year.
The new Museum building itself is almost complete and is due to be handed over to Wedgwood on the 23rd January – leaving around six months for the Wedgwood Museum Trust team to fit out the museum ready for opening in late summer.
The Trust is the custodian of more than 8,000 pieces of Wedgwood ceramics together with more than 75,000 manuscripts and documents – a unique and utterly irreplacable collection.
For almost 250 years, Wedgwood have produced some of the finest quality decorative ceramics in the world. It should be fantastic to be able to have some of this material on display again – we will certainly be making a beeline for the new museum this autumn.