At the end of the last year the Guardian newspaper reported that the High Court had ruled that the Wedgwood Museum
collection may have to be sold to help pay off a £134m pension fund deficit. The decision relates to the pension problems left by Waterford Wedgwood Potteries when it went into administration in 2009. The Court decided that the Museum’s administrators were deemed liable for the pension black hole because five museum employees were part of the 7,000 member strong Pottery Group Pension Plan, although the museum itself had not been connected to the company for nearly 50 years.
The BBC reported that the collection is estimated to be worth some £11–18m and holds over 250 years of social and industrial history, from presidential ceramics to anti-slavery pieces. Many of the items had been donated by the Wedgwood family over a 200-year period. A local Staffordshire billionaire, John Caudwell, recently came forward following the Court’s decision stating his intention to buy the collection if required to ensure it stays together and in its present location in Stoke-On-Trent.