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Coffee container plan for historic museum

Published: Monday, 23rd August 2021

Plans have been lodged to launch a new café at Gladstone Pottery Museum – based inside a former shipping container.

The container would have dual openings allowing it to serve both visitors to the Longton attraction and passers-by outside, bringing a new dynamic to the museum and local area.

Positioned close to the site’s boundary with Chadwick Street, a contained courtyard would be created with seating for customers, and gates installed to close the area off from the wider museum site.

Measuring 6.1m x 2.5m and standing 2.6m tall, the container would be positioned in a way that doesn’t detract from the wider site or museum experience.

Cllr Daniel Jellyman, deputy leader of the city council, said: “Gladstone Pottery Museum is a fantastic attraction for the city that welcomes visitors from all over the world and has won an array of awards through the years. We’re rightly very proud of the venue and how it celebrates and portrays the city’s potteries heritage, and we think the coffee container proposal will improve both the museum’s experience for visitors and provide a welcome extra amenity for the local area.

“We’ve seen shipping container cafes pop up in other parts of the country with good levels of success because they’re so cost-effective. With the museum being Grade-II* listed the container is seen as a lighter, less intrusive addition to the historic site than a new build, and because it’s a non-permanent structure, it offers greater flexibility to the site over the years and will enable us to run more events within the museum.”

Cllr James Smith, the city council’s heritage champion, said: “The museum is one of the town’s key attractions and a key part of the Heritage Action Zone for Longton, which we were awarded by Historic England in 2017. Investing in the museum will attract more visitors to the venue, which will have positive spin-off effects for the town centre and businesses in the area.”

The application will be decided by planners at the city council in the near future.