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The power of creativity in driving Stoke-on-Trent's regeneration, with Simon Davies

We don't know where you grew up or where you call home, but we're from Stoke-on-Trent. Oatcakes, Port Vale, the friendliest and funniest people on Earth. Northern Soul and the rave scene. Shelleys, Kinetic, and Golden. And, of course, Wedgwood and Brindley.

Have you never heard of it? As a kid, we'd tell people we were from Manchester because everyone knows Manchester, and it's cool. But Stoke? Pah. We're ashamed to say we never sang its praises. But what did we know? We left Stoke for Manchester, seeking our fortune. But that was many years ago. And we've recently returned to the area. We see Stoke with fresh eyes now and proudly tell people that's where we're from.

Funny enough, we weren't the only ones with this attitude. Stoke has an unfair reputation, which is absurd given its affectionately known as The Potteries – a creative city that creates art from dirt and is now named the World Capital of Ceramics. But despite its incredible industrial heritage, the local and national news just seems to spout negative stories, and everyone talks about its decline.

But one person is hoping to change all that. is an industrial and product designer and co-founder of , a company that sells his inventions worldwide, which help protect cats from the risk of free roaming. Si has big ambitions for the city. He is hugely passionate about the region and believes it's on the brink of a resurgence. A rebirth.

Fed up with seeing a place in post-industrial decline and driving past derelict buildings each day on his way to work, he and some others have set up a Community Interest Company called The Teapot Factory to bring people together and drive change. He's also behind a 'netwalking' event called the Teapot Tours, the first of which was attended by a few Chamber of Commerce members and some local artists. The idea was to bring together creatives and business people, something Stoke is famous for. The walks are guided by a local history expert and end at a venue with an interesting speaker or poet.

We wanted to find out more about a city with so much potential, a proud history, a talented workforce and a network of local creatives determined to make the Potteries legendary once more.

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