Ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent today
The ceramics industry has remained in the area thanks to the skills of the local people. Today, ceramics is a modern industry and Stoke-on-Trent is still famous for its quality ware which is sold all over the world.
Names synonymous with the area such as Burleigh, Aynsley, Royal Stafford, Moorcroft, Portmeirion, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton, are joined by new businesses, like Emma Bridgewater, BioComposites and New England, and by global companies including Churchill, Dudson, Johnson Tiles and Steelite. Together their worldwide exports ensure that Stoke-on-Trent continues to lead the world in the innovative design and development of modern ceramics. Stoke-on-Trent is unique in having maintained a broad range of products - tableware, giftware, tiles, brcks, hi-tech ceramics - within the 'The Potteries' which maintains its world status as a centre for ceramic excellence.
With a thriving creative community, including talented designers, engineers, industrialists and scientists, supported by two excellent universities and attractive opportunities for working, learning and living, Stoke-on-Trent is internationally recognised as a centre of excellence in the design and manufacture of modern ceramics.
The area has over 350 ceramics-based businesses employing around 7000 people and providing one quarter of all ceramics-based jobs in the UK. 32% of all UK ceramics employers and 60 % of employees are based in North Staffordshire. The ceramics sector's annual gross added value contribution to the UK economy is around £650m.
Stoke-on-Trent is a key destination for pottery and ceramics tourists with an estimated 4.1 million tourism visits per year generating around £207 million annually for the Stoke-on-Trent economy.
Visitors to the City are able to learn about the past at one of the award winning museums and visitor centres, see world renowned collections, go on factory tours and meet the skilled workers or have a go at creating their own masterpieces! Bargains are on offer in over 20 pottery factory shops in the City. Wedgwood, Portmeirion, Aynsley, Emma Bridgewater, Burleigh and Moorcroft are just a few of the leading brands you will find here.
With our unrivalled heritage and very bright future, it is no wonder that Stoke-on-Trent is proud to be the 'World Capital of Ceramics'.
17th Century Ceramics
18th Century Ceramics
19th Century Ceramics
20th Century Ceramics
Discover more about the history of ceramics in Stoke-on-Trent by visiting our fantastic museums:
Discover the world famous Staffordshire Hoard along with the history of the Potteries, including the world's greatest collection of Staffordshire Ceramics. See a Spitfire and all sorts of art and craft.
Described as the worlds best kept secret, a visit will reveal Moorcroft's unique handcrafted, quality, collectable art pottery. Factory tours, shopping, museum and bottle oven come together creating an unforgettable experience.
Discover the 213 year history of the oldest surviving family business in the ceramic tableware industry. Explore the original Dudson factory courtyard and bottle oven housing a wonderful collection of Dudson pottery.
The World of Wedgwood, a unique visitor experience celebrating the very best of British industrial and design heritage. Experience Wedgwood for the day through shopping, food and visitor tours.
The only complete Victorian pottery factory with original workshops, huge bottle ovens, cobbled yard, tile gallery, Doctor's House and Flushed with Pride - the story of the toilet. Visit the gift shop for handmade pottery,books and gifts.
A fascinating exhibition at Josiah Spode's former pottery, the birthplace of bone china, in the setting of a historic building. There are films, activities, stories of the factory, the workers and the everyday and amazing things they made