Prince Charles ignites mothballed Rotherham furnace

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Media caption,

The furnace had not been used in two years

Prince Charles has reignited an electric arc furnace two and a half years after it was mothballed during the steel crisis.

The Prince of Wales officially restarted the equipment during a visit to Liberty Steel in Rotherham.

The 800,000-tonne-a-year furnace turns scrap metal into specialised steels.

Liberty bought the plant in 2017 as part of a £100m buyout of Tata Steel's speciality steels division.

Image caption,
The 800,000-tonne-a-year furnace turns scrap metal into specialised steels

Addressing the crowd, Prince Charles said: "It's been a wonderful moment to fire up the furnace.

"It is so remarkable what Mr Gupta [executive chairman of Liberty House Group] has achieved here in ensuring a future for this steel mill.

"I know just how many people depended on it and do depend on it."

The visit to the steel plant was part of a day of engagements in Yorkshire by the Prince and Duchess of Cornwall.

They began their visit at the Grade I listed Piece Hall, in Halifax, which reopened in 2017 after a £19m renovation project.

The 18th Century cloth trading hall is home to a range of independent shops, bars and restaurants.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Piece Hall, in Halifax, reopened in 2017 after a £19m renovation project
Image source, PA
Image caption,
The Prince of Wales is presented with a Top Bloke card during his visit to The Piece Hall in Halifax

They then visited Halifax Borough Market together before carrying out separate engagements, which included Camilla visiting the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth.

The Duchess wrote the last line in a manuscript of Wuthering Heights, completing a project by artist Clare Twomey.

The manuscript of the Emily Bronte novel, created because the original has never been found, has been written by 12,000 people - with each person copying one line from the book.

The Prince of Wales visited Dean Clough Mills business centre in Halifax and Dearne Community Fire Station where he met youngsters taking part in a Prince's Trust project.

Image source, PA
Image caption,
The Duchess of Cornwall copies out the final sentence of Wuthering Heights

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