The wraps have started to come off one of the most remarkable buildings in the country - right here on Teesside.

The main manufacturing facility for SeAH Wind at Teesworks will be half a mile long and more than 40metres high and will be used to build the monopiles that support wind farm blades across the world.

SeAH bosses have thrown open the gates to the £450million site for the first time, revealing 90 acres of cranes and drills preparing the ground for the first steel to start going into the ground.

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The factory will create 1,500 jobs in the supply chain and during construction and, once operational, a further 750 roles will be created - many of them using local skills.

Four in five workers already employed at the site have come from the region with postcode data showing around 80% of those employed come from within 30 miles – with almost 200 people now in work on the vast complex.

When fully operational, the scheme is expected to produce between 100 and 150 monopiles per year which will be transported directly from the factory to Teesworks’ new South Bank Quay facility before heading to the North Sea for installation using specialised pile driving equipment. 

The Northern Echo: The huge SeAH site at TeesworksThe huge SeAH site at Teesworks (Image: Newsquest)

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The SeAH project is a vital piece of our Teesworks jigsaw. It’s great to see how far it has come just months on from the first spade going in the ground in summer.

“Skilled engineers and workers, who’ve had to travel for hundreds of miles from Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool in the past, are now working close to home on a game-changing scheme with excellent facilities on offer in well-paid jobs.

“We are driving forward with cleaner, safer, and healthier industries of the future. Developers are making the most of our expertise and know-how, and local workers can secure good jobs closer to the place they know and love.”

Construction of two new concrete batching plants is now complete to supply the materials for the facility. The first has now started production with the second to be operational in January. Development of the plants cost £3m – with each set to produce 120 cubic metres of concrete every hour, compared to a normal mixer truck which holds just 6-8 cubic metres.

Hanson has designed and built the structures, and Rainton Construction will take the concrete for use on the huge piles to be drilled – with waterproof concrete being developed for use on the pile caps and slabs.

A huge piling operation is now underway. More than 6,100 piles need to be drilled and each pile can be up to 1m in diameter. Some piles go as deep as 35m.

The scheme is being developed and fully managed by K2 Construction Management, whose Senior Project Manager Glenn Forbes said: “Through active engagement with our project partners and by harnessing the power of our teams we’re proud to be creating a model working environment. It’s incredibly exciting to be developing this world-class facility on behalf of SeAH, making a huge economic impact in our local area.” 

The Northern Echo: How the factory will lookHow the factory will look (Image: Press release)

Facilities for staff are also now up and running with a subsidised canteen, TVs installed for the World Cup and heated coat racks for workers all available.

Stephen Bell, from contractor Wilson James, lives in Park End and often had to travel far for work on major projects but now he says: “It’s great to be back close to home and working again. This site and the opportunities it will bring when operational will be game-changing for our local area.

“These are proper real jobs back in our region, ones set to stay for years to come that can provide careers for us and our kids.”

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