Update from the Director: June 2020

Hello – I hope this finds you safe and well. As you may know, in March we made the difficult decision to close our doors in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, and protect our staff and visitors. 3 months on and this continues to be a very strange and worrying situation for everyone, not just the Pottery. I would therefore like to personally thank all who have taken time to show their support, whether through warm wishes, engaging with us online or donating. Your support is invaluable and our gratitude is immeasurable.

Income & Funding

2020 has transformed from our centenary celebration to surviving a global crisis. I have had the very daunting task of planning the way forward for the Pottery through this ever-changing landscape.

We generate almost all our own income and although there is a high level of uncertainty at this time, we are taking positive steps to safeguard the Pottery. We have applied to the Arts Council for emergency funding to try and support us through the short-term. We also await an update from the Council about when visitors will be allowed to return to Cornwall.

Going Forward

Alongside applying for funding we have been developing new online activities and are beginning to plan for a staggered re-opening, one step at a time.

While many of our lovely staff were placed on the Government’s Furlough scheme, some continue to work tirelessly behind-the-scenes. It is due to their brilliant efforts that we have been able to re-imagine elements of our 2020 programme: such as our Design a Pot for Sharing: School & Home Challenge and our soon-to-launch Pottery and People online exhibition.

I am also happy to announce that as of 1 June the online shop has reopened, with new discounts announced every week. Our physical shop will reopen on the 15 June by appointment only. Please visit our website for information on how to book your time-slot. Rest assured that we will be introducing enhanced health and safety measures and strict social distancing guidelines to ensure we offer the safest environment for our staff and customers.

Trustee Update

Dave Griffin, after 6 years as a Trustee and 2 years as the Chair of Trustees, has stood down from the board. He has been a very important part of the setup, growth and development of the Leach Pottery and has put in years of committed service behind-the-scenes as a Trustee, as well as up-front as a volunteer with the public. After such a long period of service we would like to celebrate and thank Dave for all he has done for us. Dave is still very committed to the Leach Pottery and is planning to stay on as a volunteer.

The Trustees have appointed a new Chair of Trustees, Gary Topp. Gary has been a Trustee since 2017 and is currently Director of Arnolfini in Bristol. He has led several cultural organisations in both executive and non-executive roles and has been collecting ceramics for over 30 years.

Erica Steer was recently appointed Deputy Chair (in December 2019) and they are supported by a very strong group of Trustees who will work hard to oversee the best governance of the Leach Pottery throughout this difficult period and beyond.

Thank you to our Trustees, staff, volunteers, members and, of course, our customers for your continuing support and positivity.

With very best wishes,

Libby Buckley

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