Ben Houchen will this week throw the doors open to the former Redcar steelworks site to unveil his ambitious plan for jobs over the next 12 months – and he is urging local companies to bid for the new contracts that will create hundreds of local jobs.
The announcement comes after the Tees Valley mayor awarded a £5m contract to County Durham-based Hall Construction, which will see major site preparation work undertaken to enable the development of 50 acres of former steelworks land for advanced manufacturing.
This awarding kickstarts what is expected to be dozens of contracts let over the coming months.
Signalling the ramping up of work, mayor Houchen can today announce plans to procure three more contracts for demolition and site preparation work on the former SSI site.
The contracts combined will be worth more than £10million and are expected to support more than 100 jobs.
The first new contract which will be procured is worth up to £8m and will see further preparation work carried out on 80 acres of land on a site known locally as the Prairie. This will support 40 construction jobs.
The second, worth almost £750,000 for decontamination of a large industrial tank farm in South Bank, which support up to 25 construction jobs.
The third is a £1.5m contract to demolish various former steelworks assets at both Redcar and South Bank which will support approximately 50 jobs.
The announcement of the new contracts comes ahead of an event later this week, where mayor Houchen will outline his development plans for the South Tees Development Corporation site over the next 12 months, setting out a number of new projects and unveiling a number of job opportunities for local workers.
More than 200 local jobs have already been created on the site since the South Tees Development Corporation was formed, and this week, the mayor will set out how businesses and workers in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool will be able to secure the new work.
Since winning the Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) against SSI and the three Thai banks and securing all of the developable land, mayor Houchen has made it his priority to accelerate the work behind the scenes in order for development work on the land to be carried out as quickly as possible.
“Almost three years ago, we were stood in Redcar launching the South Tees Development Corporation and announced a 25-year plan and a vision to create thousands of jobs,” said Houchen.
“We said from the start this was a long-term project and things wouldn’t happen overnight – but that doesn’t mean things won’t happen at all.
“Since 2017, more than 200 jobs have been created on site, and these are local people and local contractors helping us transform the site for the benefit of everyone.
“Hartlepool-based Seymour Civil Engineering and Redcar-based CW Russell, who are based just yards away from the site, have been working on site for some time – now we can add Hall Construction to the growing list of local companies that are winning contracts and helping redevelop our former steelworks.
“We’ve already announced some huge projects on the site that will create thousands of jobs, such as Net Zero Teesside and the Tees Valley Waste to Energy plant announced last week.
“We’ve also submitted a planning application for more than 4.5million sq ft of state-of-the-art manufacturing space which could create 9,000 jobs for local people.
“But this is just a fraction of the land and the opportunities that are available, and this week I am going to set out everything that we are going to be doing on site over the next 12 months.
“These are things happening right now which are creating real jobs for real people. We own the land, we have the keys, the diggers are in place and we are well and truly under way.
“It is also crucial that we make local businesses aware of the opportunities that are coming up so they can bid for the contracts and we can make sure they go to local firms and local contractors.
“They are the lifeblood of our economy and they need our support more than ever as we bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We must never forget who we are doing this for – the people of Redcar whose lives were torn apart when SSI closed in 2015. By creating local jobs and supporting local businesses, we can make this a site they can be proud of once again.”