A derelict Stoke-on-Trent potbank could be saved and brought back to use through compulsory purchase powers.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council and other interested parties are discussing how best to save the crumbling grade-II* listed Price and Kensington pottery works in Newcastle Street, Longport.
Its owner Charles Lewis and Co was taken to court and handed a £1,000 fine over its poor condition in October.
In November, the building underwent an emergency partial demolition after city council surveys revealed the structure was unsafe.
This prompted protests and public outcry from heritage-lovers across The Potteries.
Now the council is looking into whether it could acquire the building through a compulsory purchase order (CPO), and then hand it to a trust.
Hanley oatcake shop owner Jason Adams is one of those interested in saving the works, his dream is for the potbank to become a sustainable mixed-use space including housing, business units and a small heritage museum.
The 28-year-old said: “In the future we may be looking to form some kind of trust but we’re just starting out. It might not be possible. I just want to see it put to some kind of sustainable use for the future really.”
He has started the ‘Save the Top Bridge Works’ Facebook group to gather ideas on how best to go about it. The group plan to meet with the council in the near future.
Amanda Bromley, owner of the Barewall Art Gallery in Burslem is also interested in setting up a trust, she said: “It’s the only Georgian factory we’ve still got with a bottle oven.
“We desperately need some type of solution along with investment and resources, probably from Government, to help Stoke-on-Trent.
“There’s something wrong with the system, not just in Stoke-on-Trent but nationally because local authorities can’t really do anything but issue a £1,000 fine.
“There has been some discussion since Jason set up the Facebook group to try and see if we can get a feasibility study done.”
The council said a ‘back-to-back’ deal between the authority and a trust could work. This would involve the council handling the legal side of things before handing the building to the trust, which would then try and attract grant funding.
The authority has met with one party interested in doing something with the building since the front was demolished, but the plans fell through.
The city council’s most recent CPO was for the Nelson Works in Hanley, which took around four years to complete.