The Government has responded to the news that steel producer Corus will cut 1,700 jobs from its Teesside workforce by announcing over £60 million of investment in the North East "to support the region's industrial transition to low carbon and advanced manufacturing."
The investment will generate an estimated 3,000 new jobs in the short to medium term and sustain over 10,000 jobs long term. Immediate investment will be structured in two parts:
- Part 1 will address immediate issues arising from the closure of the Corus Redcar unit, including providing around £10
million for apprenticeships and support for people to start
businesses and up to £20 million investment in the nearby Wilton International
site, the other major employer in the vicinity to strengthen and sustain its
competitiveness and employment. The enterprise support will be targeted
primarily at redundant workers and could create up to 300
- The £30 million of additional money in part 2 will equip Teesside to move beyond traditional heavy industry to realise its potential to be part of the UK's low carbon manufacturing base. This includes investment in redevelopment of industrial land and infrastructure. It also includes investment to establish bio-based materials, to reduce energy use of industry in the area, for initiatives on carbon capture and storage and support for technology transfer and new business practices.
Speaking to a meeting of local representatives including industry, local government and agencies from the North East, Peter Mandelson outlined how Government and the Regional Development Agency (RDA), One NorthEast, would act support existing industry, encourage enterprise and innovation and drive skills development. The Department for Business Innovation & Skills and One NorthEast are each offering £30 million investment to meet the costs of these projects.
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said:
"Following the announcement that Corus will mothball its Redcar plant we must act to secure long term employment in sustainable manufacturing in the region. Today's investment from the Government and the RDA will strengthen existing industries and create new opportunities. Teesside has the skills, the workforce and the infrastructure to compete in future advanced and low carbon manufacturing. We're acting to ensure they have the best support to succeed."
Alan Clarke, One NorthEast Chief Executive and Chairman of the Corus Response Group, said:
"This package of support builds upon and accelerates projects which will help underpin the future economy of the Tees Valley.
"It is very much addressing immediate priorities while also looking to the longer term to put in place the infrastructure needed to support the major changes the process sector and other industries are embracing.
"Some of this investment package will directly support the work of the Corus Response Group which is meeting in Redcar tomorrow to take forward a package of assistance for workers facing redundancy."