New offices are on the way at an historic pottery site after work to renovate a 90ft chimney was completed.

The landmark structure at the former Thomas Forester and Sons Factory, in King Street, Longton, was in major disrepair.

But now, following a major refurbishment project, the chimney – which dates back to 1891 – has been preserved and is fit to retain its place on the city skyline for at least another 100 years.

The £200,000 renovation was undertaken by renovation experts Midland Masonry, based in Market Drayton, and overseen by conservation architect Chris Hesketh of CTD Architects in Leek.

And its completion means site owner Kirkland Properties can now forge ahead with plans to develop a 5,000 sq ft two-storey office at the neighbouring Grade II-listed Phoenix Works.

The new office will wrap around one of the site's unique down-draught bottle kilns which are linked to the chimney via a tunnel.

Kirkland Properties owner Mark Milner said: "The chimney was in a very poor state. We secured a 90 per cent grant from Historic England in 2020, and, after a year-long project, including delays due to coronavirus lockdowns, work is now complete."

Mark has spent more £1 million transforming the Phoenix Works site over the last decade, taking it from a derelict shell into a vibrant commercial space.

Today the site – which was bought by the Milner family in 1961 – is home to a number of growing local businesses including cyber security specialists D2NA, the popular Glost House cafe and Fittingly which opened its first showroom last month.

Other plans for the site include developing a part of the former majolica works for housing.

Mark added: "We're confident that we’ll gain major interest in the new office. It is the last part of the complex still to be renovated and all available units at the Phoenix Works are fully occupied."

Orginial article and image can be read on Business Live

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