Tees

Archishop of York leads Teesside steel industry service

Archbishop of York at Corus steelworks
Image caption Dr Sentamu visited the plant in December 2009

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has led a service of thanksgiving for the steel industry on Teesside.

The event, at Christ Church in Redcar, followed the purchase of the former Corus plant in Redcar by Thai firm SSI.

The Teesside Cast Products facility was mothballed in February 2010 with the loss of 1,600 jobs.

The service celebrated 150 years of steel making in the area and provide a message of hope for the future.

In December 2009, Dr Sentamu visited management and workers at the plant, following news that workers would be made redundant and the site mothballed.

The Archbishop pledged to join local families in fighting the proposed closure and raised their plight with the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Dr Sentamu said: "The steel industry lies at the heart of the community on Teesside and this event provides the opportunity to celebrate the industry's future as well as the past.

"The news that the steel plant at Redcar will reopen soon is good news as it will bring hundreds of much needed jobs to the area."

Reverend Alison Phillipson, vicar at Christ Church, added: "This is brilliant news, but we still have a long way to go in securing decent jobs for Redcar and Teesside.

"Some of my parishioners are still struggling to feed their families."

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