The two-year transformation of the Leach Pottery has moved closer to completion with planning permission granted for phase two of the development.

Leach Pottery plan

The project, which is being funded by St Ives Town Deal and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will see the historic site developed and expanded.

It will provide the pottery with the world-class facilities needed to grow its learning programme, increase studio production, and bring the story of the 100-year-old pottery to life in an extended museum.

There will be an opportunity to welcome and develop local, national, and international visitors with better on-site services, including an expanded shop and new café. 

The first phase of the project was approved in May last year and will see the Beagle Cross building replaced with a purpose-built pottery studio and learning facility. Work is set to begin this month.

The project will involve changes and additions to the whole site. These include:

  • Providing a new learning and production centre on the site of the current Beagle Cross house that will house a larger, more efficient studio, three new learning spaces, and new staff facilities. 
  • Retaining, refurbishing, and improving the existing museum (the listed Leach Pottery) to include conversion of part of the 2008 production studio into an introductory gallery to enable the context and importance of Leach to be fully explored.
  • Retaining, refurbishing, and improving the existing shop in the listed Pottery Cottage.
  • Converting a part of the 2008 production studio into a temporary gallery for shows of pottery for sale. Converting the 2008 cube gallery into an archive study centre with a library, object store, and archive.
  • Providing a new reception and café building.

“We are delighted to get the support of Cornwall Council in this next phase of the project to transform the Leach Pottery,” said director Libby Buckley.

“After many years of planning, work will begin on site this month, with the first stage of work to replace the Beagle Cross building with a new bespoke learning space and pottery studio. This work has been made possible through support from St Ives Town Deal and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

“We would like to thank the many people who have helped us develop and support our plans to transform the site. This is at the core of our aims to create a place of creativity, connectedness, and bringing clay to life.”