Stoke-on-Trent has been named in the top 20 cultural places to live in Britain,
The city is eleventh in a two-page feature in The Times newspaper – at a time when Stoke-on-Trent is bidding to be the UK City of Culture 2021.
Gladstone Pottery Museum – the most complete coal-fired pottery in the UK, Emma Bridgewater’s ‘bijou spotty teapots’ and the city’s ‘world class pottery’ are all praised in the feature. As is the city’s comparatively low average house prices.
Only one other city bidding for the 2021 title makes the top 20 list – St David’s at number 19. Stoke-on-Trent is named one place behind Hull, the city that currently has the national culture title.
Council leader Dave Conway said: "Our City of Culture bid is really gathering pace. It's fantastic seeing Stoke-on-Trent ranked above places like Stratford-upon-Avon and Hay-on-Wye.
"Now that we have submitted our expression of interest for the title we're working hard to ensure our bid is the best it can possibly be. We know that there is a lot of competition with 10 other cities going for the title, but we also know that we have some much to offer and being UK City of Culture can really help to bring further investment and opportunities to our city."
Deputy council leader Abi Brown is leading Stoke-on-Trent’s City of Culture 2021 bid. She said: “This is fantastic recognition in a publication which is read throughout Britain and beyond.
“The listing tells us nothing we don’t already know – we are a city brimming with culture and heritage, and we want to share this with the world. The feature could have filled 10 pages if they had also mentioned our thriving creative industries, the Appetite arts programme, our newly created artists’ studios at Spode, our other world famous ceramics companies, the cultural diversity of our warm and friendly residents, the superb collections in our museums, art galleries and libraries. The list goes on and on.
“The huge number of local organisations and individuals as well as big businesses that have come out to back the bid so far speaks volumes of how proud of Stoke-on-Trent the people who work in, live in and visit here are.
“We can add huge value to the City of Culture designation and as a council we are committed to investing in our city’s cultural assets for people to enjoy for generations to come.”