Stoke-on-Trent Metropolitan Area
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Stoke-on-Trent Metropolitan Area, also known as The Potteries Metropolitan Area, or North Staffordshire, is an area of England, consisting of the Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands local authority areas. As of 2016 it had a population of 678,000.
Principal North Staffordshire industries of the 20th century were "the potteries", the ceramics industry, clay extraction, coal mining and steel production. The potteries is the name given to the area's centuries-old international centre of ceramic innovation and artistic excellence. Pottery manufacturers and decorators from the area include Royal Doulton, Wedgwood, Portmerrion, Wade and the Johnson Brothers based in the central towns in the north of the county, particularly along the River Trent. The year 2002 marked the end of coal mining and steel production.
Ceramics production at its height employed 70,000 people in around 200 firms; at 2011 thirty medium-to-large firms remain in the area. Major employment sectors are distribution, leisure, online services, higher education, healthcare, engineering, construction, automotive repair/trade and a diminished ceramics sector.
Transport for the area during the 18th century onset of the British Industrial Revolution was based on local canals: the Trent and Mersey Canal connects the Mersey on the north-west coast with the longer River Trent which discharges into the Humber Estuary upstream of the city of Hull on the north-east coast of England. The restored canals are primarily used for fishing and as green leisure routes carrying around 10,000 narrowboat pleasure trips each year, interlinked to the Grand Union Canal and other major canals and canalised rivers in England.
Railways arrived in the 1850s and dual or quadruple-tracks serve major stations in the area with frequent intercity trains from major stop Stoke-on-Trent to/from:
- Birmingham International Airport
Uttoxeter is on a direct west-north-west axis line between Stoke-on-Trent and Derby following the Dove. The main heritage, steam locomotive railway in the area is the Churnet Valley Railway in the hills around Leek, Staffordshire.