Royal Crown Derby - one of the world's best-known makers of fine bone china - has been sold to a ceramics company from Stoke. The takeover by Steelite International is likely to secure the future of a brand which dates back to the mid-eighteenth century.
It comes after a lean period for the Derby firm in which many of the 200 staff have had to work a four-day week. The new owners say they have no plans to make any job cuts. Peter Bearne reports
Steelite International, the new owners of Royal Crown Derby, believes that there is a niche market for fine china in the hospitality industry.
The manufacturer based Stoke is hoping to expand the luxurious British brand. Kevin Oakes, the Chief Executive of Steelite International says that the brand is likely to be in places such as palaces and the 'finest' hotel tables as well as on yachts and cruise ships.
Workers at Royal Crown Derby found out this morning that the company will be taken over.
Some workers are nervous about Steelite taking over and fear that jobs may be under threat, while others feel the change needed to happen and will be a positive move for the iconic British brand.
Royal Crown Derby has been independently run for 206 years, specialising in the hospitality industry. New owners Steelite say that while they want to grow the business they can't guarantee it will prevent job losses.