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Over £13m has already been secured through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund and a small number of private trusts and foundations. The final amount, which would bring the total to £15.75m, must be raised by November 30.

As previously reported in ATG, a legal loophole left the museum trust liable for a £134m pension shortfall linked to 7500 former staff of the Waterford Wedgwood company, which went into administration in 2010.

The museum's unique archive of over 80,000 works of art, ceramics, manuscripts, letters, pattern books and photographs was under threat of sale to partially cover that.

The collection is seen as being so important to the UK's cultural fabric that there have been calls for the government to intervene to save it and in 2012 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) added it to its Memory of the World register, identifying it as one of only 20 items and collections among Britain's libraries, archives and museums to represent the outstanding heritage of the UK.

Art Fund director Stephen Deuchar said: "If we raise the remaining £2.74m needed by November 30 we will be able to gift the collection to the V&A to display it long term in the existing museum in the redeveloped visitor attraction at the Barlaston site. If, with the public's help, we can raise the remaining funds, the future for the Wedgwood Collection has, despite all past difficulties, never looked brighter."

The first £500,000 of donations will be matched pound-for-pound by a private charitable trust.