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The back-to-back transactions on December 1 confirmed The Art Fund's purchase of the collection, its gift to the V&A and its loan from the V&A to Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton so it can remain in situ at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, near Stoke.

As reported previously, The Art Fund's £2.74m appeal to save the collection reached its target at the start of October.

More than 7500 donors had made up the shortfall on the £15.75m needed by the end of November to prevent what it dubbed 'one of the most important industrial archives in the world' from being split up and sold off.

The V&A has taken guardianship of the collection to ensure it can never be put at risk again.

The transfer of ownership marks the completion of a five-year campaign to save the collection - a record of 250 years of British ceramics - after it was placed under threat following the collapse of Waterford Wedgwood in 2009.

The Art Fund say the Wedgwood Museum will reopen in spring 2015 as part of the World of Wedgwood, a "new attraction displaying the history, heritage and craftsmanship of the Wedgwood brand".