Potteries Museum secures £72,500 from Arts Council for fossil display

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley is to be given £72,500 to develop Natural History Displays.

It follows a successful bid to the Arts Council England Designation Development Fund, in order to catalogue and display its nationally significant geology collections.

The collections were awarded ‘Designated’ status in 1997 – a scheme which recognises and champions significant collections of national and international importance.

The Designation Development Fund provides money for projects which ensures long-term care of Designated collections and maximises their public value.

The project, ‘Accessing Staffordshire Geology’, planned to start in June 2020, will recruit an Assistant Curator to document and display fossils collected by Edward ‘Ted’ Watkin – a notable member of the North Staffordshire Field Club and the North Staffordshire Group of the Geologists’ Association.

The collection was bequeathed to the museum in 2017 and contains many spectacular fossils from the local area.

Along with others in the museum’s collection, they tell the story of Stoke-on-Trent as it was 300 million years ago, when the land was under a warm tropical swamp and the coal deposits so important to the industry of the area were being formed.

In addition to ensuring that the collection is documented, photographed and made available through the museum’s website, the project will aim to develop engaging new displays which use these fossils to bring the ancient past of The Potteries to life.

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “We want to support all Designated collections so that everyone can experience, enjoy, discover and learn from them.

"Through their collections and knowledge, museums open our eyes to the wonders and challenges of the world and can help us find our place in it.

“We’re proud to champion the significant collections held in our museums, libraries and archives and hope that this project will open up the Potteries Museum’s unique collection and help tell the story of Stoke-on-Trent with a perspective from an eyewatering 300 million years ago!”

More from Local

Cover art for No More Sad Songs

On Air

Foxy & Matilda playing Little Mix - No More Sad Songs