Save the
Wedgwood Collection

250 years of history
80,000 objects
1 chance to keep it together

250 years of history • 80,000 objects • 1 chance to keep it together

Wedgwood Collection saved

3 October 2014
We're thrilled to announce that our appeal has been a great success – two months ahead of our 30 November target.
Wedgwood teaset in Cretan pattern, designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones © Art Fund, photo: Phil Sayer

Wedgwood teaset in Cretan pattern, designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones

The Wedgwood Collection – one of the most important industrial archives in the world – has been saved, thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals, several businesses and a number of grant-making foundations.

Our campaign has raised a total of £15.75m; the final £2.74m through a public appeal that met its target just a month after its launch. Close to 7,500 individuals donated and were matched pound-for-pound by a private charitable foundation.

We launched our appeal on 1 September with £13m already secured, thanks to significant support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (which pledged £10.867m), the Art Fund (£1m) and a small number of private trusts and foundations. Within two weeks we had raised £700,000, contributed by 4,000 members of the public. A few days later, the campaign reached £1m from the public and £1m from major donors and grant-making foundations, propelling the total to £2m.

In the last week the match fund was extended and public donations continued to flood in. The appeal surged towards its final target thanks to donations from two regional sources: £250,000 from the Bet365 Foundation, led by Denise Coates CBE, and £100,000 from Staffordshire County Council.

The Collection contains over 80,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts and letters, pattern books and photographs covering the 250-year history of Wedgwood. We plan to gift the Collection to the V&A and for it to remain on display at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, near Stoke. It will lie at the heart of a major new visitor experience at the museum, as part of Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton's (WWRD) £34m redevelopment of the factory site – set for completion in spring 2015. Now that the Wedgwood Collection has been saved, a small fund is now in place to help manage the conservation, research and display of the Collection for years to come. 

Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, said: 'This amazing show of public support for the Wedgwood Collection has made this the fastest fundraising campaign in the Art Fund’s 111-year history. It demonstrates nothing less than a national passion for Wedgwood – its history, its quality, its brand, its continuity – bringing about a potent combination of donations big and small, ranging from £10 gifts via text to six-figure cheques. Britain united to save this Collection. Huge thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund and their ticket buyers too. Together we've ensured that one of the most important collections in the world can continue to be enjoyed by all.'

Anthony Jones, executive vice president and chief financial officer of WWRD: 'Next year sees the launch of the World of Wedgwood, a new attraction that will allow visitors to explore the Wedgwood brand, its products and its history, as part of a unique and truly memorable experience. The Collection is a key element of the Wedgwood story, bringing to life its rich heritage and craftsmanship. We are delighted its future is secure for the nation and are honoured to contribute to that future through being responsible for the operation of the Wedgwood Museum. Our focus now turns to ensuring the Museum continues to deliver the high standards of collections care and public benefit for which it has been internationally recognised in recent years.”

Thank you to all our supporters! Find out more about the Collection, and take a look at ten standout pieces and the stories behind them.