New name for city centre development revealed

The name for a new multi-million-pound city centre redevelopment has been revealed.

Etruscan Square in Hanley, which will incorporate a new conference centre and event space, will be the largest regeneration project witnessed in the city centre in decades, with demolition and land preparation work already at an advanced stage on the seven-acre site.

The development, backed last year by a £20 million investment from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, will feature a 3,600 capacity arena, 285 high quality residential units, 82,000 sq ft of commercial space and a 138-bed hotel. A brand new 701-space multi-storey car park will also be built on the site of the old Meigh Street car park, which is currently being demolished, to replace and upgrade the offer.

Formerly known as the East-West Precinct, planning applications for the various elements of the Etruscan Square redevelopment are due to be submitted before the end of March, with work on the first phase potentially starting as early as this summer. The historical significance behind the new name has been outlined below:

Etruscan Square is a nod to Stoke-on-Trent’s proud past and a look forward to its bright future. Etruria was an ancient region in Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria. The ancient people of Etruria are identified as Etruscans and were a highly civilised people who produced splendid works of art which were greatly admired in the 18th century.

Josiah Wedgwood was inspired by ancient pottery then generally described as Etruscan. In 1769, Josiah Wedgwood opened the Etruria Works ceramic factory, named after the Etruria district of Italy, where black porcelain was being excavated. Wedgwood found this porcelain inspiring, and his first major commercial success was its duplication with what he called “Black Basalt”. The factory ran for 180 years. Wedgwood’s home, Etruria Hall, was built between 1768-1771 near the factory.

Proposals for Etruscan Square will be presented to stakeholders, investors and developers at events at Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, in January, and in London next month.

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