The site before construction started, © Wedgwood Museum

The site before construction started
© Wedgwood Museum

The new museum project

In Autumn 1999 the Wedgwood Museum Trust collection was packed away into high security storage to accommodate the redevelopment of the Visitor Centre.  The Trust embarked on an ambitious project to raise the finance to build a new museum complex to unite the collections under one roof and to create a suite of galleries which would be significantly larger than the previous exhibition spaces.

An initial approach to the Heritage Lottery Fund was rejected but on their advice the whole scheme was reorganised and with the assistance of good consultants a more ambitious and better plan was developed.  The £10.5 million new Wedgwood Museum commenced with the successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid of £5.86 million and significant support from Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Limited, Advantage West Midlands, Staffordshire Environmental Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, The Department of Culture Media and Sport, together with members of the Wedgwood family and many other organisations and individuals.

An open European-wide competition to design the building was launched with the successful artitects, Hulme Upright Manning, appropriately from Etruria, being chosen to create a futuristic, modern building based on the traditional bottle kiln form.  The sweeping glass façade will become a major landmark in Staffordshire architecture.

The interior design for the museum's displays was developed by Ivor Heal Design Ltd of London.  Ivor's concept was that the ceramics should speak for themselves in large glass cases, with the innovative use of a graphic information ribbon running throughout the galleries on the horizontal plane allowing the visitor to read as much as they wish.  Similarly, the idea of twenty icon objects, leads the visitor through three centuries of Wedgwood design history, innovation and style by following this specially created trail.

The creation of special state-of-the-art archive facilities has allowed the Trust to collate the manuscript collections together with excellent facilities for readers to consult this exceptional accumulation.

The whole project has taken eight years and has created one of the most impressive displays of Wedgwood ceramics, paintings and artefacts and should attract visitors from all over the world. 

We are incredibly grateful to the following contractors who have helped make our vision of a new Wedgwood Museum a reality:

Project Advisor:

L & R Consulting Solutions Ltd

Project Manager:

Bovis Lend Lease Ltd

Architect:

Hulme Upright Manning

Quantity Surveyor:

Davis Langdon LLP

Building Services Consultancy:

Foreman Roberts

Structural Engineers:

Alan Brough Associates

CDM Coordinator:

Lend Lease Projects

Main Contractor:

Mansell Construction Services

M&E Contractor:

Fairbrothers Ltd

Museum Design and Project Management:

Ivor Heal Design Ltd

Cost Consultant:

Rex Proctor & Partners

Fit Out Contractor:

Edwin Dyson & Sons Ltd

Metalworks:

Buckley Fabrication Ltd

Showcase Manufacture:

Armour Systems Ltd

Lighting:

Lux Lucis

Graphic Design:

Bridget Heal

Graphic Production:

Service Graphics Ltd

Editor:

Patricia Connor

IT Project Management:

Intelligent Heritage

AudioVisual Installations:

Aldgate Technology

AllofUs

blackbox-av

Keepthinking Ltd

Staffordshire University

Education Advisor:

Tim Caulton

Modelmakers:

AD Modelmaking

Do Phillips

Modelscape

Paragon

Robert Farrow Workshops

Mountmakers:

Museum Workshop Ltd

Conservation:

Ceramic Restoration Studios Ltd

Museum branding:

Punkt