IT is good news that steel-making looks set to return to its home on Teesside, bringing with it a couple of hundred new jobs.

However, that news is tempered by the announcement that Scunthorpe’s blast furnace is to close, with the loss of up to 2,000 jobs. It is less than a decade that our steel-making communities faced the devastation of losing a similar number of jobs as the Redcar blast furnace was shut down so there will be a real bitter-sweet taste to the return of steel-making.

One of the arguments from the campaign to save Redcar rings even more true today: is Britain sure strategically that it is right to lose its ability to produce steel from raw materials by shutting its blast furnaces? That is what the overseas companies which own our steel industry – British Steel is Chinese-owned and Tata Steel in Port Talbot is Indian-owned – are doing. They are leaving us with electric arc furnaces which are greener but which can largely only recycle steel rather than make new steel. In a world where insecurities grew by the day, it would be good to hear the British government say that this is a strategic decision rather than one driven by overseas markets.

Secondly, it is interesting that British Steel has described carbon capture and storage (CC&S) as “not viable” for making its Scunthorpe furnace green. CC&S is part of Teesside’s great hopes for the future but it is an idea which is proving extremely hard to put into practice.

The creation of an arc furnace on Teesside is a vote of confidence in British Steel’s other plants in the area and in the controversial Teesworks project that is central to the work of Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen. It is a very welcome addition to the green future of Teesside although celebrations will be muted as our steel-making communities understand exactly what Scunthorpe – a town with 50 years of steel-making and several generations of steel-makers – will be going through.