It’s been a two year journey but youth and community project The Stoke 2000 is now building the foundations for a sustainable future. The venture not only celebrates Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage and the area’s iconic bottle-oven, it also brings together various artists, young people and members of public sector organisations across the six towns to learn new skills and share stories about the Pottery industry.
The art, culture, education and recycling project sees the creation of over 2000 bottle-oven wall planters from reclaimed pallet wood saving the environment 37.6 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Equivalent to 47.7 years of television usage, charging 4,794,493 smartphones or driving 91,932 miles in an average passenger vehicle; in other words, travelling around the equator 3.7 times. As well as working with school children and community groups in recent months – leaving a cultural legacy with the next generation and helping to support public sector services that tackle social problems – they are collaborating with creative artists to work on the front of each planter. Managing Director of The Stoke 2000 Chris Parr said, ‘The artisan idea is such an exciting part of the enterprise and a fantastic way for the creative industry to show that we don’t need to have City of Culture status to remember our heritage, especially when grass roots projects like The Stoke 2000 can lead the way. Our main objective is to reproduce the same positive feeling that the 2021 bid generated amongst us Stokies over the next few years.’
The project’s next steps are to secure premises and a base to continue their work with volunteers, give valuable work experience to people with special educational needs, collaborate with more talented artists and secure further workshops with schools and community groups across the City of Stoke-on-Trent.