News Blog for the Campaign to Save the Wedgwood Museum.

This Blog will feature news updates from September 2010 - for the news archive see:

For more information visit the campaign website:

Monday, 19 March 2012

"Attorney General Upholds Wedgwood Ruling"

The Museums Journal reports:
"The attorney general announced this morning that he would uphold a high court judgement that the Wedgwood Museum’s collections could be sold to meet a £135m pension deficit inherited from the Wedgwood Pension Plan Trustee Limited, which went into administration in 2009.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said: "After careful consideration of the judgment in this case and after taking advice from specialist senior counsel, the attorney has decided not to appeal.

“The trial judge gave the issues before him careful consideration and the attorney does not believe his interpretation of the relevant law could be challenged. He has also taken account of the representations made by Alan Wedgwood."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been in talks with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, Art Fund, and Victoria and Albert Museum over ways to save the Wedgwood collection, estimated to be worth around £18m.

A DCMS spokesman said that although arts minister Ed Vaizey was determined to save the collection, the government was not in a position to pledge money to the museum. The next step, he said, was to have the collection valued and to continue to work towards a solution."
The Campaign will continue - please continue to lobby and join our supporters roll.

Friday, 9 March 2012

5th March - Minister responds to Oral Question from Dr Tristram Hunt

House of Commons: Monday 5 March 2012
Hansard record.

T3. [97715] Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central) (Lab): As you know, Mr Speaker, the Wedgwood museum in Stoke-on-Trent is one of the greatest museums in the world and is facing the liquidation of its collection due to faulty pension legislation. The problem lies with the 2008 occupational pension schemes regulation and the last man standing principle, which leaves a solvent employer liable for the whole of the deficit in a multi-employer scheme. That was never meant to apply to charitable collections. Will the Minister review that legislation before we sacrifice more of our national heritage to the lawyers?

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): When any charity or other organisation joins a last man standing pension scheme, it is important that it take proper advice about the liabilities it is taking on. Obviously, that is a general observation. On this specific case, the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, the hon. Member for Wantage (Mr Vaizey), has spoken to the chairman of the Pension Protection Fund about the Wedgwood museum, has explained the importance of the collection for the nation and has asked her whether she can find a way of preventing the collection from being broken up. That is something we all want to see.