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Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

The Spitfire Gallery

The new Spitfire Pavilion at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery prominently exhibits the museum’s RW88 Spitfire. The plane is visible from the surrounding area, celebrating the importance of this artefact as a key piece of local history and acting as a beacon to draw people into the museum.

The new gallery has created a comfortable internal environment that is conducive to the exhibition’s sensitive artefacts as well as the physical comfort of visitors. The project has been designed in collaboration with the curators of the Potteries Museum to tie into their wider Exhibition strategy, both for now and for years to come. The result is a flexible space that celebrates Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage and inspires future generations.

The scheme also involved partly demolishing the existing extension and refurbishing the café, which now forms a key approach to the Spitfire exhibition and is intrinsic to the experience of the space. The design of the Public Realm was integral to the project, designed by Stoke-on-Trent City Council Landscape Architects, the external area was completely redesigned to improve the inclusivity, accessibility, and overall experience. The building itself was designed to provide a range of views into the exhibition space to appreciate the Spitfire from all angles.

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for culture, leisure, and public health, said: “The Spitfire is a rich part of our city’s heritage and a source of enormous civic pride. The new gallery is a stunning location that shows the splendour of our fully restored Spitfire and wide-ranging displays to educate, inform and inspire generations of people in our city. We’re pleased that the design of the new gallery has been given such high recognition at national awards.”


Reginald Joseph Mitchell CBE, FRAeS was known for his quiet, reserved, and modest manner. Born in Staffordshire, this local lad went on to create the most beautiful aircraft ever built- the Spitfire.

Built at Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, in May 1945, Spitfire RW388 saw service in Germany shortly after the Second World War ended. Donated to the City of Stoke-on-Trent by Air Chief Marshall Sir Neil Wheeler of the RAF in 1972, the Mark XVI Spitfire returned to its new home in June 2021 after three-years and more than 9,000 man hours of painstaking restoration work by MAPSL in Kent. RW388 now sits proudly within a purpose-built extension to The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery to commemorate the original designer; a famous son of the city.

Potteries Museum and Art Gallery 6