Denby has acquired Burgess, Dorling & Leigh, securing the future of the beleaguered Stoke-on-Trent manufacturer.
Burgess, Dorling & Leigh has been making its blue and white Burleigh earthenware for nearly 160 years, and each piece is still produced in the company’s Victorian pottery in Middleport, Stoke-on-Trent, using the original machinery and processes.
However, the historic manufacturer was brought to its knees two years ago when its accountant, Louise Shingler, stole some £16,000 from the business.
Shingler received a jail sentence, but her actions forced the company to make redundancies and to enter into a Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors.
Now, new owner Denby says that the company should exit its CVA within the next month.
Burleigh product is found in exclusive retailers such as Liberty, Fortnum and Mason and Harrods, and the business has also manufactured product for premium American brands such as Ralph Lauren and Williams Sonoma.
Denby managing director Garry Biggs says he now wants to bring the product to a wider audience and develop Burleigh as a niche British heritage brand alongside Denby, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last year.
He also promises that all Burleigh products will continue to be manufactured at the company’s factory in Stoke, and says the company is actively recruiting to grow the business – which currently employs around 40 people.
“This is a good day for the British ceramics industry,” he said, “which assures the long-term future of a unique British pottery brand.”