Declan’s Policy Update: Heritage – Our past and our future! – Planning & Infrastructure

I was fortunate enough to join one of the first “Teapot Tours” organised by Simon Davies, MD of Protectapet, which have now boomed in popularity as Simon continues his mission to share his passion for the Potteries through the means of a heritage walk.

When I joined Simon for the tour last year, we started at Commerce House office and walked toward the towpath of the Trent & Mersey Canal.  It marked the start of a walk from Etruria to Middleport.  Every so often, we would pause for a short stop off at various heritage landmarks. 

The Trent & Mersey Canal was engineered by James Brindley and opened in 1777.  At the time, it was the country’s very first long-distance canal.  The towpath creates a green corridor for both walkers and cyclists and acts as the lungs of our city.

Our walk took in the Etruria Industrial Museum, which is the only surviving section of Josiah Wedgwood’s original factory (the Roundhouse close to the canal), atmospheric potbank wharves and the site of the former Shelton Bar steel works and much more. We headed north and in no time found ourselves admiring the stunning Middleport Pottery potbank.   The Grade II listed pottery stands proud after 130 years and remains home to the famous Burleigh pottery.

We finished off our tour with refreshments at Middleport Matters and listened to local poet, Nick Degg, who wrote the poem, ‘I come from a town’.   In the space of a few hours, I started to get a sense of just how much heritage there is in our local area.  Just take a look around!

Simon continues to share his passion and has since guided businesses on a Teapot Boat Ride, through the 1.6 mile long Harecastle Tunnel. 

I’m delighted to confirm that Simon will be the guest speaker at our next Planning & Infrastructure forum meeting.  Simon will discuss the need for more entrepreneurial and private sector driven regeneration initiatives in our area.

If you have an interest in heritage or would like to hear more about how this can drive regeneration of our county, join our next Planning & Infrastructure forum meeting on Tuesday 23rd April, to find out more.

Our Planning & Infrastructure forum is one of eleven Chamber policy forums.  This particular forum is tasked with exchanging information on planning policy, construction and regeneration.  The forum is open to any Chamber member business and places can be booked through the link:

Planning & Infrastructure Forum – Staffordshire Chambers


I’m in the final stages of updating our Chamber Business Manifesto.  We know that a General Election has to take place before the end of January 2025 and that’s why we need to have a Manifesto in place, which will provide a summary of the key issues facing our local businesses.   Watch this space for further details!!!