Takeover of Royal Crown Derby is 'good news' for city, business…

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THE takeover of Royal Crown Derby has been welcomed by business leaders in the city.

They are particularly happy to see Kevin Oakes take full control of the business. Mr Oakes has almost four decades of experience in the ceramics industry.

He is chairman of the British Pottery Manufacturers Federation and a board member of both the British Ceramic Confederation and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

He was awarded Ernst & Young Midlands Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012, presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the International Trade category in 2013 and this year was recognised with an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University in recognition of his distinguished career and his championing of the ceramics industry and UK manufacturing.

He has been chief executive of Royal Crown Derby since Steelite took over the business in 2012 – a deal which at the time was welcomed by the city.

And his vision for Royal Crown Derby is encapsulated by a product that the firm makes at its Osmaston Road factory – a bulldog paperweight, complete with Union flag jacket.

READ MORE: See the full story of how Royal Crown Derby is now under new ownership

The Royal Crown Derby factory in Osmaston Road, Derby.

Prior to that, the Derby factory had been hit by the recession, which resulted in a dip in its high street retail sales. The deal to buy the firm from Hugh Gibson, who was retiring, was seen by many as one which secured the future of the business.

READ MORE: What is the history of Royal Crown Derby?

John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, a public/private sector organisation, which promotes the city to investors, said the latest deal was “good news”.

He said: “Royal Crown Derby is one of the city’s most iconic companies and this has to be good news.

“Their quality products are known across the world and new owner, Kevin Oakes, brings decades of international experience to the role. It’s important that he knows he has the backing of the city.

“The company has been a Marketing Derby bondholder for some years and we will be reaching out to see how we might support their growth.”

READ MORE: Ever wondered what it takes to make Royal Crown Derby china?


MUCH of what Royal Crown Derby produces at its Osmaston Road factory is exported across the world, including the EU.

The ceramics industry is still trying the evaluate what the impact of last week’s EU referendum will have.

Royal Crown Derby is a member of the British Ceramic Confederation, which is the trade association for the UK ceramic manufacturing industry.

The majority of members of the confederation believe there could be potentially adverse effects on the industry from leaving the EU.

Chief executive Dr Laura Cohen said: “We recognise there will now be considerable political and economic uncertainty for some time

“We will continue to work to help our members understand the implications for their businesses as issues emerge and we will represent their interests as legislation and trade responsibility is brought back to the UK over the next few years.

“Half of UK ceramic sector exports are to the European Union. Our members also have benefited from some recent Free Trade Agreements.

“We need UK Government to work with us urgently to find a way to allay these fears and develop a way forward that supports these UK manufacturing businesses so allowing investment and growth to continue in this sector.”

READ MORE: What Brexit means for the people of Derby and the city’s economy

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