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  1. ITV Report

Steel-making safeguarded in Hartlepool

The new owner of Tata Steel's Hartlepool pipe mills has pledged to rebuild the site into a world force. Liberty House Group took over the threatened plant in July, safeguarding 140 jobs.

Its boss Sanjeev Gupta visited staff at an inauguration event, with production on the first orders about to get underway.

Once it was pivotal, then its future was uncertain, but now the steel mill is back in business.

To be here today to see it starting a new journey and one which is very exciting in terms of the speed with which it will rebound and go back to its old self.

It's going to ramp up very quickly, next year we want to get up to 80,000 tonnes, which means probably another 100 people and beyond that up to 250, 300 people in time which is its full capacity.

– Sanjeev Gupta Liberty Steel, Hartlepool

At full operation the plant can pump out 1000 pipes a week, 20 world class products an hour for the energy sector and even football stadiums.

But only last year a downturn in the oil and gas industries hit the mills hard with previous owners Tata coming close to pulling out of steel making altogether in the UK.

It's selling off chunks of its portfolio, paving the way for a steel revival on Teesside.

The new company's already secured 6,500 tonnes in orders, and they'll begin production in the next few weeks.

For the last 18 months, people have been really worrying, looking over our shoulders didn't know what was going to go. It's been amazing really, knowing that the future looks a lot brighter than it did.

– Steven Clark, welder

Just recently finished a 4 year apprenticeship, I think I speak for the rest of the team, everyone was a bit worried, uncertainty of jobs but it's a world class facility, it puts Hartlepool on the map.

We have a lot to offer and I think our future's bright.

– Jonathan Hunter, mechanical fitter

It means the town has the chance to fly the flag for steel manufacturing once again.