Denby Pottery has agreed terms to buy the Poole Pottery visitor centre in Poole, Dorset, from the Lifestyle Group.
The centre attracts over 500,000 visitors a year to its 32,000sq ft outlet, which offers a comprehensive selection of Poole pottery, a range of homewares, fashion and gift items, and also has both a cafe and a working pottery studio.
The studio produces only bespoke and special items, Poole’s main product collections being manufactured elsewhere.
The deal is being handled by Denby’s owner, Valco Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Hilco UK. No one at Hilco was available to comment, and Lifestyle Group managing director Peter Bello declined to comment, so while it seems unlikely that Poole’s standard ranges will be affected by the sell-off that has yet to be confirmed.
Denby operates its own visitor centre next to its factory in Denby, Derbyshire, and Denby PR manager Linda Salt told HousewaresLive.net: “The Denby board think [the Poole Pottery visitor centre] is a good synergy with the Denby visitor centre.”
In a statement, Hilco said it was likely that there would be further investment in the Poole attraction.
It went on: “It is not thought that any jobs will be at risk as a result of the transaction and Denby are keen to work with the local management team to further develop the site.”
Denby was acquired by Valco in 2009 as part of a £30m management buyout. A year ago Denby acquired Burleigh ware manufacturer Burgess Dorling & Leigh, and earlier this month it announced a sale and leaseback of that company’s Middleport Pottery premises in Stoke-on-Trent to the Prince’s Regeneration Trust. The deal ensures the ongoing production of Burleigh pottery at the historic site.
Denby’s factory in Derbyshire employs nearly 500 people.