News Blog for the Campaign to Save the Wedgwood Museum.

This Blog will feature news updates from September 2010 - for the news archive see:

For more information visit the campaign website:

Monday, 1 September 2014

Important Campaign Update - Art Fund Appeal Appeal Launched

Dear supporter,

The road to saving the Wedgwood Collection has been a long one, as you may be aware over the last 3 years we have been trying to prevent the forced sale and dispersion of the Wedgwood Collection  - we all agree that to do this would be a travesty. The Collection contains 80,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts, and letters, pattern books and photographs covering the 250 year history of Wedgwood; it is a unique archive of British politics, society, science and art. The archive represents priceless evidence of one company's contribution to a world of fast paced commercial innovation, scientific discovery, intellectual enlightenment and turbulent social history.

"The Wedgwood Museum’s Collection is a window into the Wedgwood family’s business and private life set within the context of the Industrial Revolution. It is, quite simply, one of the most extraordinary and rare Collections of its type in the UK"

Carole Souter, Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund 

The Collection must be saved and must remain in North Staffordshire.

We are delighted to say that good news is here, and we finally have a chance to save the Collection – forever. A steering group, led by the Art Fund with members including the Administrator, Tristram Hunt MP,  Rt. Hon. Ed Vaizey, MP Minister for Culture, Alison Wedgwood, Gaye Blake Roberts, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council have been working behind the scenes for a number of years, and in recent months, after exploring all options the Art Fund have agreed to raise the funds needed to buy the Collection – thereby safeguarding it in perpetuity. The Art Fund is leading the campaign and will buy the Collection and this will then be gifted to the V&A museum. The V&A has the curatorial, legal and business expertise and a remit to the protect the national collection of art and design and so it makes sense for them to own the collection – BUT always with the intention that it remains on display in Staffordshire at the existing Barlaston site. This solution safeguards the Collection in perpetuity and keeps it on display in the local area where it was created and evolved over 250 years.

We need £15.75m to do so, and have already raised over £13m – a major achievement.

However, today marks the beginning of the public appeal to raise the remaining £2.74m needed by 30 November in order to safeguard it.

We therefore are asking any keen supporters to contribute something to ensure we can end the uncertainty and ensure the Collection is saved forever. The good news is any donation by members of the public will be matched by a private trust and so we are optimistic that we can raise the £2.74 million by the deadline.

The Wedgwood family would like to offer their heart felt gratitude for your expressions of support, it has been a tumultuous few years and we feel that finally there is light at the end of the tunnel.  

We have ceded the Save Wedgwood web-site to the Art Fund to run the campaign – therefore if you would like to stay up to date about the campaign, please e-mail and the Art Fund will add you to their new mailing list.

Please support this incredibly important campaign by donating – either by phone, text, online or by post – and by spreading the word.

The new website is now the official fundraising platform – please consider going on line today and make a donation, call 0844 415 4100 or Text WEDGWOOD to 70800 and donate £10

Thank you for all your interest and support over the years. We do believe that, together, we can save this remarkable Collection – once and for all.

Very best wishes

Alison and Tom Wedgwood

Friday, 3 May 2013

Campaign Update

Much is going on behind the scenes; further legal action is underway.

The Museum is still open with a full programme - support it by visiting this summer:

Friday, 20 April 2012

International Academic appeal to Save the Museum

The following eminent academics from across the globe have signed an open letter in The Guardian newspaper:

Peter Scott Professor of international business history, Henley Business School at the University of Reading
Andrew Popp University of Liverpool Management School
Fred Anderson Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Bridie Andrews Bentley University, Massachusetts
Maria Ines Barbero Director, Centro de Estudios de Historia y Desarrollo de Empresas, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo Professor of business history and bank management, Bangor University
Mark Billings University of Exeter
Alan Booth University of Exeter
Gordon Evelyn Boyce
Ludovic Cailluet Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Dunkerque
Angus Cameron Leicester University School of Management
Martin Campbell-Kelly University of Warwick
Ann M Carlos Professor of economics, University of Colorado, Boulder
D'Maris Coffman Director, Centre for Financial History, University of Cambridge
Stephanie Decker Aston Business School
Tolera Zelalem Desalegn University of Milan
Colin Divall Professor of Railway Studies, University of York
Linda Edgerly Director, The Winthrop Group Inc
Jari Eloranta Appalachian State University
Judy Faraday John Lewis Partnership Archives
Jeff Fear University of Redlands, California
Susanna Fellman Professor of Business History, University of Gothenburg
José Luis Fernández Fernández Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Spain
Dale L Flesher Arthur Andersen alumni professor and associate dean, Patterson School of Accountancy, University of Mississippi
Andrew Godley Professor of management & business history, Henley Business School at the University of Reading
Terry Gourvish (London School of Economics), President, Association of Business Historians
David Hancock Professor of History, University of Michigan
Daryl M Hafter (Eastern Michigan University), former president, Society for the History of Technology
Per H Hansen (Copenhagen Business School), President-elect, Business History Conference
Barbara Hahn Texas Tech University
Roger Horowitz (University of Michigan), Secretary-treasurer, Business History Conference
Jane Humphries (University of Oxford), President, Economic History Society
Karen Hunt Professor of Modern British History, Keele University
Richard R John Professor of journalism, Columbia University
Florent Le Bot ENS de Cachan, Paris
Luis de León Molina Bilbao, Spain
Yongdo Kim Hosei University, Tokyo
Nancy F Koehn James Robison professor of business administration, Harvard Business School
Berti Kolbow Institute of Economic and Social History, Goettingen University
Elisabeth Koll Harvard Business School
Theodore P Kovaleff Columbia University
Naomi R Lamoreaux Professor of economics and history, Yale University
Daniela La Penna University of Reading
Margaret Levenstein (University of Michigan), Past president, Business History Conference
Stephen Linstead Professor of critical management, University of York
Ken Lipartito (Florida International University), President, Business History Conference
Katey Logan Business Archives Council
Niall G MacKenzie Head of research, Institute for Innovation Studies, University of Wales Global Academy
John J McCusker Ewing Halsell distinguished professor of American history and professor of economics, Trinity University, Texas
José Miguel Martínez-Carrión Professor of economic history, University of Murcia
Anette Mikes Harvard Business School
Stephen Mihm University of Georgia
Elena Moran
Stephen L Morgan (University of Nottingham), Editor-in-chief, The Australian Economic History Review
Marina Moskowitz University of Glasgow
Alistair Mutch Professor of information and learning, Nottingham Trent University
Simon P Newman Sir Denis Brogan professor of American history, University of Glasgow
Shigehiro Nishimura London School of Economics
Richard Ovenden Bodleian Library, Oxford
Mary Quek University of Hertfordshire
Veronique Pouillard University of Oslo
Michael Rowlinson Professor of organization studies, Queen Mary, University of London
Mary Rose Lancaster University Management School
Elena Laruelo Rueda National Institute of Industry Historical Archive, Madrid
Thomas Max Safley Professor of early modern European history, University of Pennsylvania
Marianne Schmitz German Historical Institute, Washington
M Stephen Salmon Senior business archivist, Library and Archives Canada
Andrew Smith Coventry University
Merritt Roe Smith Cutten professor of the history of technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Anna Spadavecchia Henley Business School at the University of Reading
Uwe Spiekermann Deputy director, German Historical Institute, Washington, DC
Marc Stern Bentley University, Massachusetts
James Sumner University of Manchester
Stefan Schwarzkopf Copenhagen Business School
Kevin D Tennent University of York
Paul Thommes Aachen University
Steven Tolliday (University of Leeds), Past president, Business History Conference
James Walker Henley Business School at the University of Reading
Eugene N White Professor of economics, Rutgers University
Daniel A Wren David Ross Boyd professor emeritus, University of Oklahoma
Robert E Wright Nef Family chair of political economy, Augustana College, South Dakota

Monday, 19 March 2012

"Attorney General Upholds Wedgwood Ruling"

The Museums Journal reports:
"The attorney general announced this morning that he would uphold a high court judgement that the Wedgwood Museum’s collections could be sold to meet a £135m pension deficit inherited from the Wedgwood Pension Plan Trustee Limited, which went into administration in 2009.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said: "After careful consideration of the judgment in this case and after taking advice from specialist senior counsel, the attorney has decided not to appeal.

“The trial judge gave the issues before him careful consideration and the attorney does not believe his interpretation of the relevant law could be challenged. He has also taken account of the representations made by Alan Wedgwood."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been in talks with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Art Fund, and Victoria and Albert Museum over ways to save the Wedgwood collection, estimated to be worth around £18m.

A DCMS spokesman said that although arts minister Ed Vaizey was determined to save the collection, the government was not in a position to pledge money to the museum. The next step, he said, was to have the collection valued and to continue to work towards a solution."
The Campaign will continue - please continue to lobby and join our supporters roll.

Friday, 9 March 2012

5th March - Minister responds to Oral Question from Dr Tristram Hunt

House of Commons: Monday 5 March 2012
Hansard record.

T3. [97715] Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): As you know, Mr Speaker, the Wedgwood museum in Stoke-on-Trent is one of the greatest museums in the world and is facing the liquidation of its collection due to faulty pension legislation. The problem lies with the 2008 occupational pension schemes regulation and the last man standing principle, which leaves a solvent employer liable for the whole of the deficit in a multi-employer scheme. That was never meant to apply to charitable collections. Will the Minister review that legislation before we sacrifice more of our national heritage to the lawyers?

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): When any charity or other organisation joins a last man standing pension scheme, it is important that it take proper advice about the liabilities it is taking on. Obviously, that is a general observation. On this specific case, the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), has spoken to the chairman of the Pension Protection Fund about the Wedgwood museum, has explained the importance of the collection for the nation and has asked her whether she can find a way of preventing the collection from being broken up. That is something we all want to see.