Tees

Redcar Steelworks land transfer deal agreed

Aerial shot of the site Image copyright STDC
Image caption Tate Steel Europe has agreed to transfer more than 1,420 acres of land to South Tees Development Corporation

A deal has been agreed to transfer more than half of the developable land at the former Redcar Steelworks.

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said Tata Steel Europe has agreed to transfer more than 1,420 acres of land to South Tees Development Corporation (STDC).

The deal is due to be confirmed by both the corporation and Tees Valley Combined Authority later in January.

Mr Houchen said more than 100 inquiries about developing the land have been received.

The deal, which includes 1.2 miles (2km) of riverside land, is being announced by Mr Houchen and Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry later.

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Negotiations to secure the remaining 870 acres of land are ongoing.

'Giant leap forward'

Mr Houchen said he will "instigate compulsory purchase proceedings" if agreement is not reached by February.

The Conservative mayor, who is also chairman of the STDC, said: "Teesside has today taken a giant leap forward.

"We have the investors, we have the money to clean up the site, and now we have the land - there's nothing stopping us now."

Mr Berry also said STDC had successfully bid for £14m from the government to clean up sites for two "major metalworks projects" which are expected to create 1,500 jobs.

Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar, said she was "pleased" with the announcement but it was "very premature" to say everything was in place.

She said: "The larger (steelworks) site is still out of reach and the current funding is a drop in the ocean compared with what is needed to get the site cleaned up.

"After more than three years since the closure and still not a single job, we need 2019 to be the year that decent jobs for local people are finally created here again."

More than 4,000 jobs were lost when the steelworks closed in October 2015.

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