Redcar steelworks company goes into liquidation with the loss of 1,700 jobs

The company that owns the Redcar steelworks has gone into liquidation days after announcing it was mothballing production at the plant

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The Independent Online

The company that owns the Redcar steelworks has gone into liquidation days after announcing it was mothballing production at the plant with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

The Thai-based SSI UK had an application to end its business granted by a judge at the High Court on 2 October. 

The news broke after the Government announced a package worth up to £80m to support the workforce with training and help for local firms to create jobs.

The Government said the firm made an “unrealistic” last-minute request for the taxpayer to make an “open-ended” funding commitment to maintain the coke ovens at the site. Ministers had “no confidence” that this was a realistic proposal for the public purse to support and it would have been in breach of strict state aid rules, which prohibit a rescue. 

But Redcar’s Labour MP, Anna Turley, accused the Government of “throwing in the towel” and “turning its back” on steelmaking in Teesside. She said: “We will continue to fight to ensure there is a future for steelmaking at the site, but realise now that we will get no help from Government.

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Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley is pictured outside the main entrance to the SSI UK steel plant after discussions about the closure of the site with the company

“Our attentions now turn to working with the official receiver to establish how debts, salaries and pensions will be paid and, crucially, how the site will be secured in future.”

A spokesman for Community, the steelworkers’ union, said the treatment of the plant’s workers had been “absolutely shocking”. He said: “The Thai owners of SSI UK should hang their heads in shame. They have chosen to take the cowards’ way out by refusing to come forward and face up to their responsibilities to the workforce and to Teesside.”

Liquidators are taking measures to try to ensure that the Redcar coke ovens continue to operate over the weekend while the state of the business is assessed.

Switching off the ovens  will cause damage costing millions of pounds to repair.

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