Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg insisted that Britain has a great future as a manufacturing nation during a visit to Redcar steelworks.
Last week Redcar owners, Tata and Thai buyers, SSI announced a deal which will safeguard 700 existing jobs at the huge site in Teesside. Nick Clegg said that the deal will also employ a further 800 new people and may see another 1,000 jobs created in the wider local economy.
It’s a great thumbs up for Teesside and the North East, for the steel industry and the UK. It’s a breath of fresh air at a time of difficult news about the British economy. I would like to pay tribute to Tata and SSI who struck this deal.
The Deputy Prime Minister added:
For too long our economy has been run according to the interests of a particular sector - the financial services sector. We need to support investors such as SSI to create jobs in other sectors in other parts, not just the South East, not just in financial services.
We are a great manufacturing nation. For too long we have been too shy about celebrating our manufacturing successes. This deal underlines the great future we have as a country in manufacturing, as well as other sectors.
Not only will this deal secure thousands of jobs, it also safe-guards the region’s proud history in steel-making.
The Redcar plant, created in the 1970s, has a slab production capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per year and the second largest blast furnace in Europe. Switched off a year ago, it will take six months before the blast furnace is back up and running.