New name and plans revealed for huge Tees site

Tees Business Digital Media Pack

A new plan and name has been revealed for the former Redcar steelworks site – a plan that is claimed will see almost 400 jobs created and almost £400m worth of investment over the next 12 months.

Throwing the doors open to the newly-named Teesworks site on Thursday morning, along with Boro chairman Steve Gibson, Tees mayor Ben Houchen announced a host of new contracts which will go out for tender in the coming weeks, and he is urging businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to bid for the work in order to create good quality local jobs for local people.

Over the next 12 months, 19 separate demolitions will take place and 18 individual contracts will go out for tender, creating 390 jobs, 39 of which will be for apprentices.

In total, 775 jobs will be created through these investments, which will total £393m.

Local businesses and local workers will be able to find out about contracts and job opportunities at Teesworks by visiting teesworks.co.uk.

In a further bid to support local businesses, mayor Houchen worked with Middlesbrough-based Better brand agency to develop the new Teesworks brand, established to appeal to both international investors and local workers in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and a new site entrance will also be built by the end of the year.

Mayor Houchen said: “My 12-month plan for the former steelworks is a plan for local people and local businesses to create jobs, jobs and more jobs.

“Due to the sheer scale of the site, the numbers are huge and there is nothing like this anywhere else in the UK.

“More than 200 local jobs have already been created on the site, but this is just the beginning.

“Over the next year, we will go on to create hundreds more real jobs for real people in our communities.

“We own the land, we have the keys, the diggers are in place and we are getting on with the job we promised to the former steelworkers, some of which are already back on site in new jobs.

“We want businesses to know what opportunities are coming up so they can bid for them and support jobs in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, which is more important than ever as we recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

“With this exciting new phase for the site and investment in the pipeline on a scale that has not been seen before in this region, we felt it was time for a new identity to tell our story and showcase our potential to investors across the world as well as real people in Teesside, which is why we’ve launched Teesworks.

“By the end of the year, we will also have built a new and impressive entrance to the site.

“This will be our shop window to the world, allowing us to wow local people and investors alike, inspiring current and future generations to train and apply for the high skilled jobs that we are creating

“The hundreds of jobs we are creating and the investment we are bringing in will help us change the skyline of Teesside forever in the biggest demolition programme this region has ever seen.

“This is a site with a proud history and one which has touched the lives of so many of the people of Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, and we can make it a site they are proud of again.”

Jessie Joe Jacobs, Labour’s candidate for Tees Valley mayor, responded: “I absolutely believe in the potential for the Tees Valley and am a huge champion for this region but I’m becoming a little weary of Houchen’s ‘all mouth and no trousers’ PR machine.

“Today was simply another branding exercise announcing temporary construction jobs we already knew about. What we actually need is permanent well paid jobs across every sector, in tech, care, chemicals, hospitality and tourism.

“Sadly from Houchen we have had more headlines than we have jobs on the SSI site, as the Tees valley continues to fall behind the rest of the country in terms of our economy, employment and business growth.

“I’m pleased to see the diggers move in but this was money promised to the Tees Valley after the Tories failed to save the steel works which saw the loss of 4,000 jobs.

“So today we have a new name and promises to build new buildings, without any commitment of companies to fill them.

“Houchen also talks of good jobs but refuses to commit to any agreement that construction work will meet nationally agreed rates of pay. We really want and need more than this now.”