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31/07/2020

£245,000 match funding AWARDED TO harper street

Historic England has awarded £245,000 of funding to Stoke-on-Trent charity Re-Form Heritage to help with a project to save a row of derelict historic houses that play a vital role in the story of Grade II* listed Middleport Pottery.

Re-Form Heritage, which specialises in restoring heritage buildings, owns and runs the famous Middleport Pottery site as a working factory site, heritage attraction, creative business hub and café. Adjacent to the pottery are 11 Victorian terraced houses that are part of the story of this iconic business.

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The £245,000 Historic England grant is to support the Harper Street project: Engagement in Heritage which will regenerate the houses into a mix of creative business units and community facilities as well as showing the history of Middleport and its workers. Historic England stepped in to provide much-needed match funding to support Re-Form Heritage in an application it has made to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for an investment increase for the Harper Street project. Re-Form is awaiting the decision by NLHF as to whether it will award the additional grant money.

Should the project get the green light, it will help to strengthen the visitor appeal of Middleport Pottery, and give extra space for new creative work to be produced.

Louise Brennan, Historic England’s Regional Director (Midlands) said “We are delighted that we are able to support Re-Form Heritage’s work to try to bring Harper Street and Middleport Pottery together as a unique heritage attraction, and help to ensure the future of this important site.”

Clare Wood, Chief Executive of Re-Form Heritage said “The grant is a fantastic step forward in saving the historic Harper Street terrace and contextualising the neighbouring Middleport Pottery site. Without the planned regeneration and the generous support from Historic England, this important example of pottery workers’ housing will deteriorate beyond repair.

“The Harper Street terrace is not an iconic structure, but it is very important in telling the story of the working people who made Stoke-on-Trent internationally famous for its wonderful ceramic wares. We look forward to sensitively repairing and regenerating this brilliant example of housing that was once commonplace in industrial centres throughout England.”

Jonathan Gullis, MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, said “Historic England continues to be a great supporter of heritage in our city, supporting projects from Chatterley Whitfield to Price & Kensington. Its continued support for Middleport Pottery and the Harper Street project is single handily regenerating the Middleport area. I will continue to raise the importance of our industrial heritage in Parliament to help other heritage organisations receive the support that they need and deserve."