Redcar steelworks land deal 'marks new era'

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SSI site
Image caption,
The deal means the vast majority of land on the former site is now owned by the local development corporation

A deal has been agreed to buy the former SSI steelworks site in Redcar in a move that could create thousands of jobs, according to the area's mayor.

The 840 acres, owned by SSI UK since the plant went into liquidation in 2015, has been acquired by the South Tees Development Corporation (STDC).

The deal includes a plan to develop an electric arc furnace on the STDC Lackenby site.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said it "marked the beginning of a new era".

No information about financial arrangements has been released for reasons of "commercial sensitivity".

However, Mr Houchen, who had previously said he "would not be prepared to write a blank cheque", described it as one that people "would be more than happy with".

The STDC now owns the majority of the land, following a deal with Tata last January to transfer more than a thousand acres.

Image source, Tees Valley Combined Authority
Image caption,
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said the deal marked the "beginning of a new era

Mr Houchen said he was certain it would lead to a "brighter and successful future for the area".

"Now we've put the building blocks in place we can get on and deliver the jobs and investment this site needs", he said.

"After years of hard work and negotiations, I can now promise... that we can get on with attracting the huge investment and creating the thousands of jobs that this site has the potential to create.

"I'm expecting to make announcements in the next few days on investments coming on to this site."

Companies which have previously expressed an interest include those involved in steelmaking, recycling, energy and power generation.

Win Viriyaprapakit, the chief executive of SSI, said: "Now that an agreement has been reached, the door is open for Mayor Houchen to secure the investment into the site, so that regeneration can begin and good quality, well-paid jobs created."

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