Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has announced that he has reached an agreement with SSI over the former Redcar steelworks land.
After nearly three weeks of intense final negotiation between mayor Houchen and representatives of SSI, a landmark deal has been agreed that will see the 840 acres of land owned by SSI UK, along with all other assets on the site, acquired by and transferred to the South Tees Development Corporation.
As part of the agreement SSI will not fight the CPO, in effect pulling out of the CPO process. The CPO process will continue however so that smaller parcels of land can be brought under the control of the Development Corporation.
As part of the deal 90 jobs have been saved at Redcar Bulk Terminal which will continue to operate as normal.
The deal also includes a plan to develop a state-of-the-art Electric Arc Furnace on the South Tees Development Corporation Lackenby site within three years.
At an emergency meeting of board members for the Development Corporation, the deal received unanimous approval.
In January 2019 mayor Houchen secured a deal with Tata to transfer 1,420 acres, an area almost the size of Gibraltar and more than half of the developable land at the former Redcar Steelworks, to the development corporation.
Today’s announcement means the overwhelming majority of land at the former steelworks site is now under the control of the South Tees Development Corporation.
Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I am delighted that today we have reached an agreement with SSI to take back control of the site of the former Redcar steelworks.
“Thanks to the agreement we have reached, we can move forward in breathing new life into an area that was devastated following the steelworks’ closure in 2015. With the potential to create more than 20,000 jobs over the next two decades, today really marks the beginning of a new era.”
“I am grateful to the representatives of SSI, and everyone involved in the negotiations, who have worked so hard over recent days to be able to get this over the line.
“The journey to this point has not always been an easy or straight forward one, but through the hard work, dedication and commitment of all involved I am pleased we have been able to reach an agreement that works for all parties.”
“Those living across Redcar, particularly those in the shadow of the steelworks, the former steelworkers, their families and their communities, will have been waiting for this day to come. I am certain that the deal we have agreed will lead to a brighter and successful future for the area.
“After years of hard work and negotiations, I can now promise the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool that we can get on with attracting the huge investment and creating the thousands of jobs that this site has the potential to create.”
Win Viriyaprapakit, CEO of SSI, said: “Over the last three weeks, we have been in intensive talks with Mayor Houchen and his team to deliver a solution that works for everyone involved, and I am pleased a deal has now been done. I am also grateful for the Thai banks’ support and their good intentions for this regeneration of this region.
“It is from these intense discussions that we saw Mayor Houchen’s integrity and character, and his commitment to the region. Based on that, SSI took the decision to secure a deal as we fully support Mayor Houchen’s vision for the site.”
Now that an agreement has been agreed, 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.