A Short Guide to the Region
If you’re thinking of investing in the Potteries or Crewe – but would like to know more about the area – this short summary might be of interest. We know the market and are always happy to provide advice, just give us a call.
The City of Stoke-on-Trent lies half-way between the Manchester and Birmingham conurbations and is at the center of the area famously known as ‘ The Potteries.’
Two miles to the west of the city is the borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme and fifteen miles to the north-west is the railway town of Crewe.
Stoke is unusual and is not a typical “concentric” city – it does not have a traditional town center surrounded by commercial and residential districts which radiate out towards the suburbs.
Instead the city comprises a chain of six towns running broadly from south to north over twelve miles as follows:
Longton – Fenton – Stoke – Hanley – Burslem – Tunstall.
The six towns are surrounded by suburban towns and villages such as Biddulph, Trentham, Endon & Alsager.
Manchester by train is just 40 minutes away.
London can be reached in 1 hour 30.
North Staffordshire and South Cheshire were largely rural farming areas until the industrial revolution. Then, during the late 1700’s, clay, coal, steel and steam began to transform the enviroment. By the 1850’s Stoke was the world’s ceramic capital and Crewe a principle hub for Victorian train travel.
Until attempts were made to unify the potteries in 1910 the six towns regarded themselves as seperate entities and it was not until 1925 that King George V bestowed the status of City upon the conurbation.
To further complicate matters the former market town of Newcastle forms part of the Potteries but not part of the city, although it’s closer to the newly designated “City Centre” than most of the other towns!
In fact people still refer to the Potteries as the “The Five Towns” (a reference to author Arnold Bennett’s series of novels that ignored Fenton), “The Six Towns” or even “The Seven Towns” (thereby including Newcastle, much to the borough’s annoyance).
Of the three principle Staffordshire industries , two have vanished – there are no pits or steelworks remaining – although the pottery industry seems to be enjoying something of a renaisance.
Although many of the potbanks closed during the 1980’s and 90’s, those that remain are begining to thrive again and new global markets are discovering the excellence associated with the “Made in Stoke-on-Trent” backstamp.
Other, new hi-tec businesses are now transforming the local working enviroment. For example Bet 365 employs over 2000 staff at their Festival Park site, many from all over the world. Vodaphone also have a significant presence in the city.
The brand new state-of-the-art Royal Stoke University Hospital has recently opened and employs 7.000 staff.
Crewe retains its position as a central rail hub and prestige manufacturers such as Bentley continue to employ skilled workers in the town.
There are two local well regarded universities, Keele & Staffordshire, both based in the area and in the process of expansion.
The area has three league football teams – Stoke City, Port Vale & Crewe Alexandra.
There are a number of regeneration projects taking place in Stoke-on-Trent at the moment which may encourage short-to-mid term capital growth.
Perhaps the most obvious is the Smithfield Central Business District which has opened in Hanley. It is intended that the prime new-build office space in CBD will act as a catalyst for the development of a more concentrated city centre. The new ‘Hive’ complex and redevelopment around the Octagon retail park is also providing a regeneration focal point.