Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen
Chloe Shakesby

Work begins on Redcar Freeports project set to create 18,000 jobs

Work is set to begin today on the first project at a former Redcar ironmaking complex which could create up to 18,000 jobs.

Demolition work at the former Redcar Steelworks Coal Handling Facility is due to begin today (1 March), and is set to become one of the free zones in the ongoing Freeports bid.

If the Freeport is approved by the government as part of the budget later this week, up to 18,000 jobs could be created in the area, delivering £3.4bn to the region’s economy.

This first project is set to create 20 jobs, with contractors from MGL Demolition now on-site to begin the 15 week programme.

Mayor Ben Houchen, who is leading the Freeports bid, commented: “A Freeport would be a game-changer for the region, turbocharging our economy and will lead to the creation of thousands of good-quality well paid jobs for local people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“That’s why I’m so excited that we’re getting the site ready now, with the Coal Handling Facility the first to go, clearing the path, quite literally for this massive opportunity.

“Hopefully the decision on where the UK’s Freeports will be set up will come as part of the chancellor’s budget on Wednesday and no place is better placed to take advantage of Freeport status than Teesside.

“The Teesside Freeport will help to transform the Teesworks site – and sites across our five boroughs – making us the go-to place for engineering, chemicals and processing, boosting our international reputation and drawing even more inward investment to our area.

“This demolition is also creating the good-quality jobs that we need right now in the face of the coronavirus and I’m also delighted to announce applications are also open for another ten jobs on the site.”

Mary Lanigan, leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is another important step on the road in our journey making sure Teesworks fulfils its potential as a globally important industrial site providing quality jobs right here in our borough.

“We will continue to work with all our partners and government in the push to become a Freeport which would be a huge benefit to the entire region.”

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