News story

Vince Cable witnesses the return of steel production to Teesside

The blast furnace was relit last month, just over a year after SSI purchased Teesside Cast Products (TCP) from Tata Steel and over two years…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The blast furnace was relit last month, just over a year after SSI purchased Teesside Cast Products (TCP) from Tata Steel and over two years after it was mothballed.

The funding is one of the biggest RGF projects to date with a total cost of £7.325m, part funded with Regional Growth Fund grant of £1.425m, enabling the company to update the skills of longer term employees and train new staff.

This has helped re-establish a fully functioning plant for the production of slab steel, capable of producing 3.6m tonnes a year, with the potential to increase production to 4.2m tonnes a year. With due diligence and the terms of the conditions now met the money has been awarded.

Speaking at a visit to the Redcar steel plant Vince Cable said:

“Boosting British manufacturing is central to this Government’s mission to create long term growth, that is balanced between sectors and regions of the UK.

“For too long the British economy has relied exclusively on the City of London, ignoring places like Teesside. I want to see regions of the UK like the North East, which were once the workshops of Britain get back to their glory days.

“I have great pleasure in visiting SSI today and to witness first hand the return of steel production to the North East. The restart of the plant is fantastic news for the region as it will have a major impact on local growth and prosperity, creating around 8,000 jobs.

“SSI and its workforce have done an incredible job over the last year to get the plant up and running again and to expand production capacity.”

Phil Dryden Chief Executive of SSI UK said:

“We have been pleased to welcome the Secretary of State to SSI UK, especially as it follows on from the successful resumption of iron and steel making at Teesside.

“SSI have spent around 1,000 million pounds to bring the plant back in to operation which has secured 1800 direct jobs.

“Part of that investment relates to the major training requirement which was necessary to start up the plant, and we were very pleased to receive the £1.4m award from the RGF.”

Also today Lotte Chemical has been awarded £6.7 million from RGF which will help to create 55 jobs as well as safeguarding an additional 173 jobs.

The money has been used to construct a manufacturing plant on the Lotte Chemical UK Limited (LCUK) site - part of the Wilton International chemical complex, Teesside.

The facility will develop new resins for new applications needed in the manufacture of bottles, containers and trays for use in food packaging.

**Notes to editors

**1. The SSI Workforce Development Project is one of the larger Round 1 RGF projects with a total cost of £7.325m, part funded with Regional Growth Fund grant of £1.425m.

  1. The project is to help implement the reestablishment of a fully functioning plant for the production of slab steel on Teesside, specifically the RGF will part fund the delivery of training to enable the company to update skills of longer term employees and train new employees.

  2. Training has been delivered to 1700 employees in total, of this 1000 new starters received more intensive training programme. There will be 1800 employees on site within a few months.

  3. The Regional Growth Fund is a £2.4 billion fund designed to support businesses with projects that will create jobs in areas dependent on the public sector and will be supported by private sector investment. The £1 billion third round of the fund is open to bids now. The deadline is noon on 13 June. More information can be found at www.bis.gov.uk/rgf/

  4. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation & Skills Phone

Fax

Mobile

Email bispress.releases@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Name Ashley Rogers. Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5971 Fax

Mobile

Email ashley.rogers@bis.gsi.gov.uk

Published 21 May 2012