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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 06:34 GMT
Cash needed to save pottery
Potter at work in St Ives
The Grade Two listed workshop is in bad need of repair
About 1m is needed to secure the future of one of Cornwall's most famous pottery workshops.

The Bernard Leach Pottery in St Ives is still being used, but it has fallen into disrepair.

Its current owners have opened a small museum on site, exhibiting the potter's work.

But they say they have insufficient cash to update and open the workshop itself, which is a Grade Two listed building in bad need of repair.

Steering group

Pottery complex owner Allan Gillam said: "It still has a lot of atmosphere.

"You can just imagine all the people sitting here producing pots for sale.

"In its heyday, this place would have produced thousands of pots every month."

A steering group made up of art colleges, museums and local councils is now hoping to raise the money needed to take on the site and open the workshop to the public.

Bernard Leach pottery exhibition
The pottery is home to a small museum of Bernard Leach's work
St Ives is already home to the Tate Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth museum.

But the steering group's chairwoman, Lady Carol Holland, said if they succeeded in raising the money, St Ives' reputation as a "cultural destination" would be improved even further.

"We hope it will be continued as a working pottery centre and that it will also be available as a training place and an educational resource," she said.

Mr Leach opened his pottery in 1920 after learning his trade in Japan.

Hundreds of potters spent their apprentice years there and Mr Leach is credited with reviving British pottery.

Amanda Brier, who has just graduated from college and is one of only two potters working at the centre now, said she found the surroundings "inspirational".

"There are so many people who would love to come in here and see the workshop," she said.

"Nothing much has changed here and it is lovely to see how it actually was."




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Eleanor Parkinson
"It is hoped, if the money can be found, this once industrious part of Cornwall's heritage will get a new lease of life"



SEE ALSO:
Pottery plant closes
31 Oct 03  |  Staffordshire
Jobs axed at pottery works
24 Sep 03  |  Staffordshire
Pottery museum's official opening
17 Jun 03  |  Staffordshire


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