William Eichler 13 October 2015

2,200 jobs lost as Redcar Steel closes

The Redcar Steel works will close after no offer to purchase them came forward, the Insolvency Service announced yesterday.

The works have been in the hands of receivers since the site's owner Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK (SSI) was wound up on 2 October.

But with what the official receiver Ken Beasley called no 'realistic prospect' of a sale on the horizon, the 98-year-old works were closed down costing the area 2,200 jobs.

‘I cannot continue to draw on taxpayers' funds to keep the ovens operational when there is no realistic prospect that a buyer will be found,’ Mr Beasley told the BBC.

‘This is the worst possible news and is an absolutely heart-breaking moment for all of us,’ cllr Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said in a statement.

‘Our proud history of years of steelmaking,’ the councillor continued, ‘has been torn out from under us. We have been so proud of our heritage and I cannot believe it has slipped away in the space of a few weeks.’

The Government has provided £80m to support those who lost their jobs but this isn’t, according to cllr Jeffrey, enough.

‘The Government has had plenty of opportunities to intervene,’ she said, ‘but it has just allowed this to happen - it should have stepped in sooner to help. The £80m package provided is simply not enough, especially as it will also fund the redundancy payments.’

Amanda Skelton, the chair of the SSI Task Force and chief executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, issued a statement promising that there will be support for those who are losing their jobs.

‘The SSI Task Force members are working hard to support the workforce at this very difficult time,’ she said. ‘The help that has already been on hand during the last week will continue over the next weeks and months. Rapid employment advice, such as help with job applications and CVs, is already in place. The financial consequences of closure will hit many families hard. That's why it's important that we're also able to give specialist money and benefits advice to everyone affected.’

Ms. Skelton also added: ‘The Task Force is also looking at what we can do now to tackle the longer-term challenge of restructuring our local economy. We want to secure sustainable jobs for current and future generations of people.’

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