THE blast furnace and coke ovens are set to be demolished at the former SSI steelworks site, more than five years after it closed. 

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has issued £150million for  the demolition of Redcar Steelworks contracts which could create 300 jobs. 

The work to demolish the iconic Redcar steelworks structures is to begin next year.

Up to 300 jobs are to be created as part of the five-year demolition programme.

The Northern Echo:

Mayor Ben Houchen is to offer Teesworks tours to the public to provide a final chance to see the historic site and has asked how they want to preserve steelmaking heritage.

READ MORE: SSI: Tours of historic former steelworks site in Redcar to be offered to public

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (August 13) unveiled a £150million programme of demolition work across the Teesworks site – including the Redcar Blast Furnace and Coke Ovens – which could create up to 300 jobs. 

The contracts for the five-year programme will see the demolition of some of the most iconic structures from the former steelworks which have formed part of the Redcar skyline for generations.

The Northern Echo:

Mayor Houchen is urging businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to apply to be included on a list of providers for contract opportunities over the project’s lifetime. 

Local businesses can apply to be on the providers’ list now by visiting the newly-launched Teesworks website,

The contracts are due to be awarded in December, with work beginning as early as March next year.

Up to 300 jobs could be created throughout the demolition programme. 

The nine structures that will be demolished as part of the programme are: 

  • Redcar Blast Furnace 
  • Redcar Coke Ovens 
  • Redcar Raw Materials Handling Facility 
  • Redcar Sinter Plant 
  • Redcar Power Station 
  • Lackenby Steelmaking Plant 
  • Lackenby Coil Plate Mill Complex 
  • South Bank Coke Ovens 
  • Grangetown Torpedo Ladle Repair Facility  

The Northern Echo:

Mayor Houchen said: “Teesworks is a huge part of my plan for jobs to create good quality local jobs for local people, and this is another opportunity for local businesses to get involved in the work and the jobs we are creating, which is even more important as we bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.  

“More than 200 local jobs have already been created on the site, but as I said last month when we launched Teesworks, over the next year, we will go on to create hundreds more and this is not only the next stage of that plan, but the most significant so far, so it is a fantastic opportunity for businesses in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool

“I recognise the demolition of these historic structures will be a bittersweet moment for many people in Redcar, especially to those former steelworkers and their families.

"That is why I am offering local people the chance to safely explore the site one last time before the demolition work begins.  

“I have been inundated with people interested in taking a tour around the site, so I am delighted to be able to make this happen and give people a chance to learn more about the history of the site and make some final memories to treasure long after the buildings have gone. 

“The Redcar steelworks is such a huge part of our history and even after it is gone, it is something we should be telling our children and grandchildren about. That is why I want to hear from people in Redcar on how we should keep the memories of it alive. It was their steelworks so they should have a say on how we remember it.” 

Councillor Mary Lanigan, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, said: “We are all excited about the potential of this world class site and the huge opportunities we have to attract investment from around the world to Teesworks.  

“But, of course, there is a real pang in the heart at the thought of such an iconic part of our skyline and steel-making heritage vanishing. Making iron and steel has been fundamental to our identity for generations - it’s in our blood.  

“Nearly everyone from this area has a family history involving steel-making and is fiercely proud of it. I am certainly no different and we are all proud that steel-making does remain here in the borough.  

“However, we must concentrate on building a prosperous future and preparing this massive industrial site for a range of new, cutting edge industries is a crucial part of that challenge. Making iron and steel was a new industry once and we became world-beaters. We can do that again with the industries of the future.”  

In response to the news, Jacob Young MP for Redcar, said: “Our area is steeped in Industry - whether that’s our former steel works, our growing chemical sector or the prospect of new green energy.

“Over the years the Teesside skyline has changed dramatically, in many cases because we have adapted to the needs of industry.

“Now as we enter a new era for the Teesworks site, it’s right that we allow the evolution of our industrial landscape to continue, with old structures, like the blast furnace, making way for the next generation of industrial landmarks, and the wealth of jobs and opportunities that they will bring."