Mark Whitehead 17 May 2023

Teesworks project under scrutiny after corruption allegations

Teesworks project under scrutiny after corruption allegations image
Image: Jirsak / Shutterstock.com.

A major project to transform the former Redcar Steelworks site into a manufacturing hub is under scrutiny amid allegations of corruption and cronyism.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has been urged to conduct an investigataion into the Teesworks project which has received more than £350m of Government funding and loans.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority, which is running the project, has handed a 90% stake in Teesworks Limited to two developers who profit from multi-million-pound lease agreements and half the money made from scrap metal sales.

Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy has called for a full investigation, while Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has also requested a full parliamentary inquiry to clear his name of any wrongdoing.

The NAO has previously reviewed the business case for the project, but cannot conduct a detailed audit of the accounts without approval from levelling up secretary Michael Gove.

Ms Nandy asked the NAO to probe the project and answer ‘important questions about the transfer of a vital public asset into private ownership’.

Mr Houchen, who is leading the redevelopment, said he also wrote to the NAO to request an investigation because he has ‘nothing to hide’.

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