February 24, 2020 @ 16:35 by Richard Dawson
A deal has been agreed to buy 840-acres of the SSI steelworks on the banks of the Tees, in a move which could bring thousands of skilled jobs back to Redcar.
Following lengthy negotiations, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has announced that a deal has been reached for the acquisition of the huge steel site in Redcar, which has been owned by SSI UK since the plant went into liquidation back in 2015.
The new buyer, South Tees Development Corporation (STDC) now owns the majority of developable land at the plant, having previously acquired over 1000 acres of the huge site last year.
It’s hoped that the new deal could bring back Redcar’s once thriving steel industry, leading to the creation of thousands of new skilled jobs.
Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I am delighted that today we have reached an agreement with SSI to take back control of the site of the former Redcar steelworks.
“Thanks to the agreement we have reached, we can move forward in breathing new life into an area that was devastated following the steelworks’ closure in 2015.
“With the potential to create more than 20,000 jobs over the next two decades, today really marks the beginning of a new era.
“The journey to this point has not always been an easy or straight forward one, but through the hard work, dedication and commitment of all involved I am pleased we have been able to reach an agreement that works for all parties.
“I am grateful to the representatives of SSI, and everyone involved in the negotiations, who have worked so hard over recent days to be able to get this over the line.”
While finer details of the financial arrangements can’t be publicly released due to concerns about commercial sensitivity, it’s thought that STDC will now kickstart plans to redevelop the plant, including the creation of a state-of-the-art electric arc furnace.
Win Viriyaprapakit, CEO of SSI, commented: “Over the last three weeks, we have been in intensive talks with mayor Houchen and his team to deliver a solution that works for everyone involved, and I am pleased a deal has now been done.
“I am also grateful for the Thai banks’ support and their good intentions for this regeneration of this region.”