AN amazing collection of locally-made pottery will stay in Bideford, the home town of its collector, thanks to a National Lottery Fund grant. The North Devon slipware collection, drawn together by artist Reg Lloyd over nearly 60 years, has been bought by

AN amazing collection of locally-made pottery will stay in Bideford, the home town of its collector, thanks to a National Lottery Fund grant.The North Devon slipware collection, drawn together by artist Reg Lloyd over nearly 60 years, has been bought by the Burton Art Gallery and Museum.It is valued at £500,000 and has been bought with the help of a £311,000 grant from the Lottery fund, following a successful bid by the Friends of the Burton Gallery. Further financial support has come from The Friends and from Bideford Bridge Trust and The Arts Council in London.Many of the more than 500 pieces, dating from the 17th to the 19th century, were made in Bideford and also in Fremington, Barnstaple and in Cornwall.Mr Lloyd, 81, started his collection at the end of World War Two.With the development of his own artistic career - his paintings have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert and the Tate Gallery - his ceramics collection also grew steadily.Bideford had a thriving pottery industry dating back to mediaeval times and by the 17th century was exporting to Ireland, Wales and the US.With a great number of pieces going to America, Mr Lloyd's collection has attracted attention from curators at the Smithsonian Institute, who visited his home.But as the value of the collection grew Mr Lloyd was forced to sell it six years ago as insurance was proving too costly and he did not want to turn his home into a "fortress."The collection was bought by Bideford-born Paul Vincent of The Studio Pottery and Ceramic Review, with the purpose of holding it as long as possible, until the money could be raised for it to go permanently to the Burton Art Gallery. Pam Biggs of The Friends of the Burton said: "This is excellent news for Torridge. The Friends have worked tirelessly over many years towards this result, with the gallery staff, and have spearheaded the application. This consummate collection will now be securely in the public domain and on permanent display. It will be used in a programme of educational projects and these local artefacts will enhance the collection of graffito pottery already on display.