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Build & Sustainability

Historic day as famous Redcar blast furnace comes down

The curtain has officially come down on a symbol of Teesside’s rich steelmaking history.

Redcar’s blast furnace, a fixture on the town’s coastline since the late 1970s, has been demolished.

The iconic structure, which provided employment for thousands, came down this morning (Wednesday, November 23).

Its razing forms part of a wider flattening of the former Redcar steelworks site to make way for the Teesworks clean energy development, which regeneration bosses say has the potential to create more than 5500 direct jobs.


  • The Redcar blast furnace begins to fall as 175kg of explosives rip through its insides


The scheme has already attracted Korean offshore wind turbine parts maker SeAH Wind, which is building a factory on the sprawling site, and the BP-led Net Zero Teesside Power project, which promises a gas-fired power station with carbon capture and storage capabilities.

A flagbearer for change – Read North East Times Magazine’s extended feature with Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen on Teesworks

The blast furnace’s levelling comes after similar work across the steelworks base, which fell silent in 2015 after operator SSI UK’s collapse.


  • Redcar’s blast furnace, pictured during a North East Times Magazine tour of the steelworks site earlier this year


Earlier this year, a mammoth basic oxygen steelmaking plant – which refined molten iron from the blast furnace to make steel – was brought down, as was a sinter plant that once fed the blast furnace with heated coke, fine metals and iron ore ‘fines’, and giant ovens that burned coal to make coke for iron and steelmaking.


  • Teesside’s skyline has changed forever after the demolition of Redcar’s blast furnace


Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, who is leading the Teesworks venture, said: “Our skyline has changed forever with the demolition of the blast furnace, and we can never forget the important role it played in Teesside’s proud industrial history.

From steel to sustainability – read North East Times Magazine’s tour of the Redcar steelworks site

“Now, with almost all of the major iron and steelmaking structures down, a new skyline will emerge on the Teesworks site.

“We will never forget our past – but from it we are building a new future.”