The Portland Inn Project

Artist Anna Francis has been working with the Portland Sreet residents for a number of years, to plan a future for their changing community with clay. Clay has been used to gather and activate the community, encouraging individuals to communicate and form ideas about the future of their place.

The Portland Street Community is in flux, as new residents move into a long-standing community through a £1 home scheme, initiated by Stoke-On-Trent City Council.

After initial work with the community, it became clear that clay was a positive material for engaging a wide range of participants and for activating social change. Last summer Anna Francis temporarily opened the local pub, in response to the community calling for a permanent and creatively-driven centre. The response wass overwhelming, with over 600 individuals enjoying and feeling inspired during creative sessions. The Portland Street residents wanted the pub back and to use it as a creative space for everyone to meet, play and learn. 

Alongside the Portland Inn's co=lead artist Rebecca Davies, Anna is now working on a 5 year business plan, that sets out how the Portland Inn will become a clay-based social enterprise. The document will enable Stoke-On-Trent council to "gift" the pub to the community.

This summer, Anna Francis will be completing a seis of interactive "clay tests" to see what types of clay and creative engagement should sit within the heart of the new social enterprise. 

For regular updates on all of our current projects follow us on the BCB Learning Blog.


You can search #ThePortandInnProject for more details on last years re-opening.