Stoke Town and Spode Works Masterplan

Project date
  • Consultation
  • Masterplanning
West Midlands
Stoke-on-Trent City Council
Associated team members
Associated documents


In July 2010 URBED won a design completion to create a masterplan for Stoke Town and the Spode Works. URBED were one of 6 finalists who had to develop an initial masterplan and present ideas to the Stoke Town Regeneration Board and the public. URBED teamed up with internationally reclaimed Landscape Architects Jan Gehls, ARUP and DTZ to form a consultant team that saw of stiff competition from some of the country’s top Masterplanners and designers. The brief set out the need to find a sustainable future for Stoke Town Centre taking advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of the former Spode Works site as a catalyst for change.

The purpose of the Stoke Town masterplan is to:

  • Develop a vision for the future that we can all share
  • Create a strategy for the town that can move it towards that shared vision
  • Generate ideas for the town centre and Spode Works which encourage investment, activity and job creation
  • Establish Stoke Town as a successful and sustainable town within a successful Stoke-on-Trent

The masterplanning process included several rounds of consultation, baseline analysis and the development of options. This project was unique in that part of the commission was to deliver a masterplan for the Former Spode works site, a ceramic factory that had closed in the last 5 years and was a major player in the development of Stoke Town and its heritage.

Despite the difficult economic climate and pressures to knock the factory down and use the land for more commercial factors URBED and its team were able to develop an economically viable option that retained some of the existing buildings and bringing the building back into use in as short a time as possible. This was mainly due to the emphasis on meanwhile uses on the site to allow life back into the area and for a more organic form of development.

The team developed the idea of ‘growing your own urbanism’. This concept focussed not so much on grand plans that risk never happening, but on the process by which the town can develop in a series of more manageable steps. The result in ten or twenty years may be just as dramatic, but the process of change will allow for flexibility, sustainability and for the full involvement of local people and businesses. This approach was central to the competition and remains at the heart of this strategy.

The masterplanning work is being done in three stages:
Stage 1 - Investigation
Stage 2 - Develop Proposals and Consult
Stage 3 - Create and Deliver Masterplan

The masterplanning process was completed in April 2011 and in the 6 months since completion there has been much activity on the Spode Site, with the main hall being cleared and used for the Ceramic Biennale, which has given people an opportunity to appreciate the fantastic site that sits in the centre of Stoke Town.