Expanding engineering business takes on former pottery site in Longton
A DISUSED pottery unit is to get a new lease of life after being snapped up by an expanding engineering firm.
Rayne Precision Engineering currently employs about 70 people across two sites in Ipstones and Froghall.
Now it has announced it has acquired the former Royal Doulton and Wedgwood shop and design studio in King Street, Longton.
The 180,000 sq ft building will enable the family business to expand the services it offers and create jobs in the process.
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David Stevenson, works accountant at Rayne, said: “We will be moving all our current operations to this site.
“We had been looking to relocate in the Staffordshire Moorlands but it seemed that the district council was only looking to build housing.
“There is a possibility of more jobs and that’s one of the reasons we wanted to move into Longton.”
Rayne currently carries out laser cutting, fabrication and welding and supplies parts.
Back in 2010, The Sentinel reported how the company had to cut back to about 24 staff as a result of the recession but it has overcome the downturn to emerge even stronger.
Although Rayne has not finalised a timetable for its move, it says it will also be using the services of existing companies in the town to complement its growth.
Colin Todd, commercial director of Rayne said: “Due to expansion constraints at our two present sites we have been actively looking for new premises that will allow us to amalgamate them both, enable us to expand our customer base diversifying into new markets and add new processes and machinery for greater control internally.
“The search has been extremely difficult as industrial land has become scarce, but we have had excellent support and advice from Stoke-on-Trent City Council who have welcomed our move.”
Paul Bibby, head of real estate at business law firm turner parkinson which supported Rayne in its move, said: “Rayne has been a valued to client for a number of years and it’s very rewarding to assist a long-standing client with the ongoing expansion of its business.”
Councillor Mark Meredith, the city council’s cabinet member for economic development said: “It’s great news that Rayne has made the move to Stoke-on-Trent. It is another success story for the Make It Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire inward investment service which helped the company.
“I hope Rayne thrives and flourishes in this new location.”
Historian Angie Stevenson, from Longton, said: “Although the building itself is not historic, the names it has been associated with mean it is a very important. The potential for that site is huge and it is very welcome to see it re-used rather than demolished.”