REDCAR'S coke ovens and former SSI UK blast furnace are to close.

The decision comes after no offers came in for the sites.

Ken Beasley, the official receiver, said he could no longer use taxpayers’ money to continue maintenance work at the works.

Today’s announcement means up to 450 people will lose their jobs, with another 200 waiting to hear their fate.

The decision means more than 2,000 workers have lost their jobs.

MP Tom Blenkinsop says the decision shows the Government has abandoned Teesside.

Business Minister Anna Soubry said she was very disappointed at the news.

Mr Beasley said: “SSI was placed into liquidation with substantial debts and had no funds available to purchase the coal needed to keep the coking ovens operational.

"I have ensured the continued operation of the ovens while I dealt with health and safety issues and considered whether there were any viable offers for the ovens.

“I cannot continue to draw on taxpayers funds to keep the ovens operational when there is no realistic prospect that a buyer will be found.

“I am continuing my liquidation of the company, including talking with interested parties about purchasing the company’s other assets.

“I thank the staff who have been involved in the continued operation of the company and recognise the great efforts that have been put in and the professionalism shown by people in a time of enormous personal pressure.”

Reacting to the news, Tom Blenkinsop, MP for Middlesbrough South and east Cleveland, said: "This is devastating news for the 2,200 workers who have lost their jobs, my thoughts go out to those who have lost their jobs and their families.

"This is a dark day for Teesside and east Cleveland, the repercussions will be felt through the supply chain and the local economy.

“The Government have sat on their hands while thousands of people have lost their jobs, there was a viable offer on the table to maintain the coke ovens but the government failed to listen, they just went through the motions.

"The Government have abandoned Teesside.

“To add further insult to injury, the increased number of redundancies will decrease the already meagre steel aid package, as redundancy payments are included in the £80m figure.

"The Government must reconsider the £80m package as thousands more people could lose their jobs with contractors and suppliers.”

SSI was wound up by the High Court in Manchester earlier this month.

Last week, hundreds of workers lost their jobs at the ovens after a miscount of staff numbers, it was claimed.

About 200 people are believed to have been told to leave Redcar’s steelworks last Thursday.

It is understood around 890 staff were initially told to stay on at the Redcar Coke Ovens, after steelmaker SSI UK collapsed, to keep the fires burning.

However, that number was reduced to about 650.

The Government’s Insolvency Service denied claims of a miscount, saying staff levels were originally left higher than needed to cover health and safety regulations.

Councillor Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, said: “This is the worst possible news and is an absolutely heart-breaking moment for all of us.

"Our proud history of years of steelmaking has been torn out from under us.

"We have been so proud of our heritage and I cannot believe it has slipped away in the space of a few weeks.

“So many people have been affected by the closure – the steelworkers and their families, the supply chain and the wider economic impact this will have on our local area. It is devastating.

“We have already committed to doing everything we possibly can as a council to support the men and women in our communities who have lost their jobs and have had their lives turned upside down.

“The Government has had plenty of opportunities to intervene but it has just allowed this to happen – it should have stepped in sooner to help.

“The £80million package provided is simply not enough, especially as it will also fund the redundancy payments.

“And any decision around the long-term future of the site should have come after the steel summit on Friday.

"This future of steelmaking in the Tees Valley should have been a focal point of those discussions. What is the point of making this decision prior to those talks?

“We now need to look at if the hard closure takes place as has been indicated, how we look to secure the site for the future and bring it back to contributing towards the economy in Redcar.”

Ms Soubry added: "I had hoped a commercial buyer for the coke ovens could be found but unfortunately this has not happened.

"This news is very, very disappointing and my thoughts are with the workers and their families.

“The Government will continue to focus on making sure we do whatever we can to help people. Our package of up to £80m will help with retraining and enable local firms to grow and create jobs.

“We will also continue to provide the official receiver with the funds and support necessary to manage this situation in a safe and orderly way.”