A major project to decontaminate and demolish five huge redundant oil tanks on the Teesworks site by a local firm embracing a ‘Totally Teesside’ initiative and supporting 20 jobs is underway.
To coincide with the five-year anniversary of SSI steelworks entering liquidation, Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen visited the site to see how the recently awarded major demolition work at South Bank Wharf was taking shape and to hear about Acumen’s commitment to the local workforce.
Acumen, who have a base in Middlesbrough, are a specialist waste management company and have been awarded the vast decommissioning project, which includes the removal of waste oil products and the decontamination and demolition of five heavy fuel oil tanks.
The company’s ‘Totally Teesside’ principle is to ensure as many jobs as possible go to local people, supplies for the contract are bought from regional stores and the company even ensures employees buy their lunches from small, local independent shops.
The project, which involved removing the heavy fuel oil from the tanks and cutting the metal from the tanks, cleaning it and sending it to be recycled, has created 20 local jobs. Amongst these is technical director Lauren Hill, from Hartlepool.
Lauren said: “It’s fantastic to be involved in this project and to take up such a varied role. We work on a wide range of industrial site services; clearance works and emergency spill responses so we’re well placed to be able to effectively tackle the job at hand.”
“It’s hugely encouraging to see that the local environment is changing so much and it’s an exciting time to live in the North East at the moment, especially in the Tees Valley as there are so many positive things happening in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool.”
The contract, worth almost a million-pounds, is expected to be complete by the end of 2020 and is part of Teesworks’ wider 12-month, £393million demolition and remediation programme which will create 775 jobs.
Mayor Houchen said: “My plan for jobs is delivering good-quality, well paid jobs across the Teesworks site right now with 517 jobs already created, meaning local workers have more money in their back pockets for them and their families.
“Acumen is a great example of a company that is going that extra mile to not only create local jobs for local people but do everything they can to support businesses and communities on Teesside. It is brilliant to see them being involved with such a huge demolition project, employing local people with well-paid jobs and reinvesting into our region at the same time.
“We are getting to work with our plans to demolish and deliver. The scale of this project is mammoth and to see it first-hand is incredible. It just goes to show that we have the skilled workers and knowledge base within Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to carry out such works.
“Our plans are in place, diggers are on site and we’ve created hundreds of jobs for local people who are getting the Teesworks land ready for redevelopment so we can create thousands more good quality, clean, 21st century jobs for local people.”
Last week, Mayor Houchen marked the five-year anniversary of the liquidation of SSI steelworks by demolishing its former gatehouse – paving the way for the site’s bright future and a brand-new, state-of-the-art entrance.
Plans for a new entrance were revealed less than two weeks ago but Mayor Houchen and North East-based Esh Construction are already pressing ahead with works to deliver the £1million development by Christmas.