Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 18:35 UK

'Some optimism' over pottery move

Wedgwood cup and saucer
Waterford Wedgwood went into administration in January

The new owner of Wedgwood has shown commitment to Stoke-on-Trent which should be greeted with "some optimism", an industry expert said.

WWRD Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday up to 225 jobs might go at the Barlaston factory where production would be cut.

Staffordshire University's Ian Jackson said it was possible "precious little production" may have continued at the site and even more jobs been lost.

He said the owner seemed to value the Wedgwood name and its heritage.

WWRD Holdings, which took over in March after Waterford Wedgwood went into administration, has begun a 90-day consultation period over the job cuts.

'Treasured' workers

Mr Jackson, a senior economics lecturer, said the company's wording that there would be a "bone china pottery cell" suggested a much-reduced capacity.

But he added the situation could have been worse.

"We should be grateful for the few remaining jobs that there are while at the same time acknowledging those workers who are being made redundant," he said.

Mr Jackson said the announcement also suggested the heritage of the Barlaston site and the Wedgwood name and its associated brands were valued by WWRD Holdings.

He said: "I think it shows also that the workers who will remain are treasured amongst the group's portfolio and therefore they should look with some optimism to the future."

He added he believed it "too early to say" whether there would be growth or further job cuts at the site which depended on what the next 18 months would bring.



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