Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak MP today (January 10) visited the South Tees Development Corporation to announce a £71million commitment to the redevelopment of the site.
Tees Valley Mayor and Chairman of the Development Corporation Ben Houchen welcomed Mr Sunak to the area ahead of the news and gave him a tour of the site, highlighting the huge scope of what is the single biggest development opportunity in the UK today.
The latest investment takes the total amount of cash secured from Government to £208million since Mr Houchen became Mayor in 2017.
The vision for the 4,500-acre Development Corporation area, which includes the site of the former SSI Steelworks, is for it to become a hotbed of industry, creating 20,000 jobs and adding £1billion per year into the local economy over 25 years.
In February last year, a deal was struck to acquire 1,420 acres of land at the Development Corporation from Tata Steel Europe, making up more than half of all developable land within the site. Compulsory purchase proceedings are currently ongoing to secure the remaining 870 acres of land owned by SSI in receivership.
The funding announced today will support work to remediate and prepare the site for redevelopment to attract new businesses and investment. It will also help the Development Corporation secure some of the land to ensure the whole area can then be regenerated.
Mayor Houchen said: “I have always said I would be the first to ask Government for more money when we needed it for the redevelopment of the former Redcar steelworks site. So, after asking, I’m pleased we will be receiving the £71million to help secure the site and accelerate its preparation for private sector investment.”
“It is fantastic for our region that Rishi Sunak and the Treasury have made this money a top priority and announced it in the first few weeks of the new Government. This is another significant step to help us breathe new life into an area that was devastated following the closure of the steelworks in 2015.”
Speaking on the visit, Mr Sunak said: “This is our levelling-up agenda in action, as we back Teesside’s exciting ambitions to be a global trading centre with great jobs for world-leading industries.
“We want to unleash the potential in Teesside and across the country to make the most of the opportunities available for the future.”
Cllr Mary Lanigan, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council Leader and Development Corporation board member said: “This is very encouraging news and a vitally important step towards ensuring our highly ambitious plan of creating a globally important centre of new industry continues to become a reality.
“I’m pleased that the huge potential for this site – which has already attracted major investment – is being recognised by the Government.
“Now we need to use this money well to ensure what is one of the biggest industrial sites in Europe is even more attractive for investors. We will do everything we can to fulfil the huge potential of our area and create many thousands of high-quality jobs for decades to come.”