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Renovation of iconic historic site in Longton is good to go

Published: Wednesday, 22nd March 2023

Work to transform a derelict factory site in Longton, key to the story of ceramics since the late eighteenth century, has received approval from Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Developer OVI Homes will redevelop The Crown Pottery Works, later becoming Tams factory, into 58 apartments designed for the over 55s whilst retaining the character of this landmark site. The combined restoration and new build scheme will create an attractive feature development at the gateway to Longton town centre.

The project has been made possible with £6.3m awarded by Stoke-on-Trent City Council as part of its Levelling Up funding from government. Public funding has made this scheme viable as well as ensuring lasting residential and community benefits. Subject to planning approval, work will start later in Spring.

The development is set to have a positive impact on the local economy. During construction, the developer will employ locally where possible and appoint two apprentices and two work placement students. They are also committed to community improvements.

Following the closure of John Tams Ltd in 2006, the buildings have fallen into some decline in this prominent position in Longton’s Conservation Area. Bringing the building’s frontage back to its former glory, with the addition of stylish modern elements, will make a stunning addition to the town.

The renovation will complement works to other historic buildings in Longton. These are being restored with help from conservation area grants and being delivered by the council in partnership with Historic England. The combined impact will be a more vibrant town centre, bringing historic buildings back into use and an attractive environment for local people to enjoy and be proud of. It will make Longton more attractive to further investment.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council Leader, Councillor Abi Brown, said:

“This is such an important development for Longton, not only in telling the story of ceramics in the area and focal to the conservation area but as a gateway to the town centre. This is an historic building that has stood vacant for many years and had become a blot on the landscape. But we have always recognised its potential and are thrilled that the site is now being brought back into such an important use.

“The exciting, stand out designs for new homes will have a positive impact for the town and help attract further investment.

“We are delighted to have an agreement with OVI Homes to secure Levelling Up funding and that work can now progress.

“With all of the investment in Longton combined with the pride and enthusiasm of local people it is set to be a more vibrant town, attracting people to live, work and visit.” 

OVI Homes Chairman David Taylor CBE, said:

“OVI has ambitious development plans for 2023/2024, and our long-standing commitment to the Crown Works site in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent is an incredibly positive and exciting part of that investment.

"The Crown Works Development will transform the gateway to Longton and we have taken time and care to understand the specific challenges on site and the surrounding area to find a sensitive but contemporary building and landscape design that will help to kick-start further investment in the years to come

"Our collaborative approach complements complex public and private regeneration, and we can see a lasting and productive relationship with the Stoke-on-Trent Council team and local stakeholders across the city on a broad range of projects in the future”.

On completion of Crown Works, residents will enjoy modern living, access to communal space and an enclosed courtyard with planting and seating all in a safe environment. The site is next to the town centre for access to amenities and a short walk to Longton rail station.