Stoke MEP welcomes “new deal” proposal for ceramics industry

Government officials would consider a new deal for the Potteries to help promote long-term investment and deliver a boost to research and development, Stoke-on-Trent Conservative MEP, Anthea McIntyre, told key figures from industry and politics.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for Stoke-on-Trent, was speaking at the British Ceramics Confederation’s launch of a sector-deal proposal to build on the £550 million which ceramics already contributes to the economy and underpin a “renaissance” of the Potteries.

The document stressed that the ceramics in the Stoke-on-Trent area would need to continue growing at nine per cent a year to maintain its share of the global market.

It centres on a plan to create an International Institute for Ceramics in Stoke as a focal point where innovation, knowledge and learning can be exchanged to improve productivity and growth.

Miss McIntyre, a longstanding supporter of the ceramics industry in her region, said: “As a Conservative MEP, I know that Government recognises ceramics as a key enabling sector making critical components for aerospace, automotive and many other sectors.

“We appreciate that the refractories subsector support all high temperature industries, like chemicals, steel and glass. And we know that ceramic construction product manufacturers are vital in meeting the UK housing needs. I want to see these houses built with British bricks and tiles and ceramics.

“I know from personal experience just how many jobs and businesses are dependent on the actions of Government having visited so many over the last few years. Businesses like Steelite, Portmeirion, Dreadnaught Tiles and Lucideon.”

She said Government was committed to collaboration with the business community and welcomed this outline proposal for a sector deal for ceramics.

She said: “Government colleagues and BEIS (Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) officials will continue to work with you over the course of the coming months as they consider its contents.”