Page last updated at 09:56 GMT, Friday, 7 November 2008

'Early interest' in pottery firm

Pottery made by the firm
The firm shed 250 jobs last summer

Administrators trying to find a buyer for pottery company Royal Worcester and Spode have said there had already been interest in the firm.

Accountants Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) announced on Thursday the china firm had gone into administration.

Andrew Hammond of PWC said he was hopeful a buyer could be found "based on the early interest".

The firm, which dates back to 1751, employs 388 people at UK sites in Stoke-on-Trent, Lymdale and Worcester.

Unions said they were deeply concerned for the workers' future but were hopeful the manufacturer would survive.

Royal warrant

Administrators Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PWC) said the firm ran into difficulty after it failed to sell its Stoke site and because of the current economic downturn.

A worker at the pottery firm
The firm employs nearly 400 people in the UK

Mr Hammond said: "We'd very much like to achieve, as is primarily our role, a restructuring of the business and see that passed into the hands of a new owner.

"And we have immediately begun conversations with a range of interested parties."

Mr Hammond said the firm's heritage, history and royal warrant made it a "pretty unique" opportunity for a buyer.

He said although there were "no guarantees" this would result in a buyer being found, he was hopeful they would "be able to progress matters over the coming weeks".

Royal Worcester and Spode has been hit by changing tastes and cheaper imports in recent years and work was moved from the Severn Street factory to Stoke and abroad to cut costs two years ago.

The US trading subsidiary of the firm, The Royal China and Porcelain Companies Inc, is not affected.

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The firm employs 388 people in Stoke, Lymdale and Worcester



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SEE ALSO
Porcelain company could be sold
29 Sep 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
Pottery maker sheds 250 workers
01 Jun 07 |  Staffordshire
China firm quits after 250 years
30 Sep 06 |  Hereford/Worcs
Royal Worcester cuts take effect
21 Apr 05 |  Hereford/Worcs

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