The future for Stoke-on-Trent as visitor destination post Covid-19

Paul Williams, Chair of Stoke-on-Trent's Cultural Destinations Partnership will be joining our 'Cultural Cities' discussion next week to speak about how the pottery towns will develop as a tourist attraction post Covid-19.

Paul says that despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, he sees exciting times ahead for Stoke's city centre and quotes the potteries' most famous author, Arnold Bennett: 'any change, even a change for the better is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.'

Even though he believes that historically there has been an inability to develop the Potteries as a thriving destination with a vibrant, competitive city centre, with the competition between the city's six towns for resources, he believes that the city's motto 'united strength is stronger' will prevail.

He cites the contiguous town of Fenton with its array of architectural assets and special charm and says empowering community stakeholders to rediscover their identities with a renewed sense of localism can contribute to the city's wider prosperity.

Paul told Future Cities Forum that while ceramics tourism was the raison d'etre for the 2021 City of Culture Bid that began in 2015, there is a now a lot more work going on joining up cultural attractions with the modern ceramics industry (which works with mobile phone manufacturers among other industrial uses), and with the gaming industry expertise of Staffordshire University to link with town centres, along with the canal network across the six towns of Stoke, Hanley, Burslem, Longton, Tunstall