Consortium bids to buy mothballed Corus plant

A bid has been launched to buy a mothballed steel plant, it was confirmed today.

A project team put together by North East businessman Chris Musgrave is seeking to buy Corus's Teesside Cast Products (TCP) plant in Redcar.



The consortium includes London-based private equity house and metallurgy experts Hatch Corporate Finance.



Mr Musgrave, the man behind Wynyard Park Limited, approached Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon and Middlesbrough Football Club chairman Steve Gibson for advice after both called for more action to safeguard the area's 170-year steel-making heritage.



Mr Mallon said the consortium's intention, if the bid was successful, was to re-commence steel-making.



"In December, myself and Steve Gibson went public with our concerns that, instead of the focus being on saving steel-making, all the talk seemed to be on the area trying to recover from the closure of Corus," he said.



"We believed that was premature as there were avenues which had not been fully explored.



"No-one should be in any doubt that there is still a long way to go before any steel jobs are saved - and it may still prove impossible so people should not build their hopes up - but today's news is welcome and is a step in the right direction.



"I have been very impressed by the determination of Chris Musgrave and Paul Weavers to move this along and the involvement of such a world-renowned company as Hatch is very encouraging.



"I have said all along that I will do all I can to assist this team or any other consortium interested in getting a bid together to try to save steel-making on the Tees. That remains the case - my door is always open."



Mr Mallon added: "It's likely that any successful bid will require Government support.



"An election is looming and we don't know who the Government will be after that, which is why both major parties have been fully briefed."



Downing Street has been advised of the development by Middlesbrough Labour MP Sir Stuart Bell.



Workers' representatives, steel industry suppliers and customers have also been informed, together with Conservative leader David Cameron.



Mr Musgrave said: "Both myself and Paul are convinced that steel-making on Teesside can be saved and we approached Ray Mallon because it was clear he shared our determination to do all we can to achieve this.



"This is a different industry to those on the Wynyard site but the principle of building sustainable business is the same.



"An offer for the Corus site, which combines local knowledge and international expertise, has been made.



"This can work with the support of the unions, Tata and the Government."



Mr Musgrave added: "We do not want to raise false hope and it must be stressed there is still a long way to go but we believe this plan is workable and gives a chance for steelmaking to resume."



Vera Baird, Labour MP for Redcar, said: "It is good to see Mr Weavers' group feeling confident that they might play a role in the future of TCP now that they have had time to get some information about the plant.



"They have worked quickly, which is to be commended.



"This is a non-binding offer so it is a part of negotiating process and I await with interest to see an early response from Corus.



"Already £10 million has been disbursed effectively from the Government's £60 million programme for the Tees Valley Industrial Programme - and more to come.



"This is in addition to the existing £130 million investment in business and support skills in the Tees Valley to run from 2009 to 2012.



"The £200 million steel pipe contract for Corus Tubes at Hartlepool could not have been achieved without the Government providing capital tax allowance relief to the tune of £320 million.



"Many of the jobs created will match the skills of Redcar workers."



The mothballing process at TCP began on February 19. At least 1,600 people stand to lose their jobs over the coming months.



Earlier this week, Corus announced that it would create 100 jobs at its Hartlepool site after it won a £200 million pipeline deal.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
tech

Company decides to go for simply scary after criticising other sites for 'creepy and targeted' advertising

Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
News
news

Footage shot by a passerby shows moment an ill man was carried out of his burning home

Voices
Sol Campbell near his home in Chelsea
voices
News
i100
News
Kimi the fox cub
newsBurberry under fire from animal rights group - and their star, Kimi
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Customer Service Executive / Inbound Customer Service Agent

£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...

ASP.NET Web Developer / .NET Developer

£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....

Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past