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Stoke on Trent Area Guide

Middleport Pottery, Stoke on Trent Image courtesy of Flickr user Andrew Woodvine

Stoke on Trent is a city in Staffordshire made up of the boroughs of Hanley, Burslem, Longton, and Stoke, together with the districts of Tunstall and Fenton. Known collectively as 'the Potteries', this nickname is a nod to the area's industrial past and present as a producer of some of the world's finest ceramics. Companies such as Royal Doulton, Wedgwood and Minton were all established in the city.

Coal mining also had a prominent place in the history of Stoke on Trent, and in the 1940s there were around 20,000 men working in the city's collieries. Trentham Superpit was the last pit to close in 1994 and though all of the mines have now closed, the evidence of this heritage remains in the slag heaps that are scattered amongst the city skyline. Iron and steel works were also important to the city, however much of this industry had ceased by the 1970s.

The architecture of the area incorporates the simple pottery workers cottages alongside the more splendorous properties that were built as homes for the factory owners. Service industries and distribution centres are now major sources of employment, as is the Michelin Tyre Company which employs more than 1,000 people. However it is not all about industry, Stoke on Trent is one of the greenest cities in the country with one third of the city being green space. It is also considered home to the Northern Soul music movement that first emerged in the Seventies, and the area has a thriving nightclub scene.

Demographics

Stoke on Trent has around 107,000 households with a population of almost a quarter of a million people and an average age of 38.5 years old. 

Latest census figures suggest that far from having an ageing population, the number of people aged 65 and over has decreased by 0.8%. This compares with a 10.9% increase seen across England & Wales and a 24.5% increase across the rest of Staffordshire.

Education

There are seven nursery schools and more than 70 primary schools in the city of Stoke on Trent as well as numerous secondary schools. Every secondary and special school in the city is expected to benefit from a 'Building Schools for the Future' initiative which will see a total of £250m invested in the rebuilding or refurbishment of 13 secondary schools and academies by January 2014. 

Special educational needs are well served by Abbey Hill School and Peforming Arts College, for pupils with needs including Autistic-Spectrum Disorders and learning difficulties. Middlehurst Special School and Kemball Special School both offer provision to pupils with needs related to cognition and learning and Aynsley School and Specialist College takes pupils with needs related to behaviour, emotional and social difficulties.

Two further education colleges serving the city include the City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College and Stoke on Trent College. Staffordshire University offers higher education courses.

Transport

Stoke on Trent has a frequent and reliable bus service which operates out of the bus terminal in Hanley. Railway services are accessible at the city's main station in the Shelton area and offer regular routes to London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Oxford. Cyclists can explore around 160km of the National Cycle Network from various access points around the city.

Motorists are able to connect to the M6 and M1 motorways via the A500 arterial road, and a Park and Ride service offers convenient travel into the city centre. Air travel links can be found at Birmingham International Airport, Coventry Airport, and East Midlands Airport.

Amenities and Shopping

Factory shops, pottery cafés and independent stores line the streets of the city along with big brand retail chains, and the Potteries Shopping Centre has more than 80 outlets. The area has its own Cultural Quarter in Hanley which is home to the School of Art, two theatres and an arts centre, a museum, and several galleries. Entertainment in the city is plentiful, with a cinema, a lively music scene and nightlife.

Sports and leisure facilities include Burslem Park, one of the largest Victorian Parks in the country. In addition to wide open spaces, Festival Park has a marina, ski slope, ten pin bowling alley, toboggan run, and the large Waterworld indoor swimming complex. Northwood Stadium benefits from an international standard running track, badminton courts, football pitches, and squash courts.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.