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SSI UK: Talks continue in bid to save coke ovens

Talks are continuing in a bid to secure the long term future for Redcar's coke ovens. SSI UK went into liquidation on Friday with the loss of more than 2,000 jobs at the Teesside steel plant. 650 staff have been retained on a temporary basis to operate the ovens - which must keep burning if there is to be any chance of finding a buyer for the plant.


Cameron on SSI package: 'If more is needed we will provide more'

The Prime Minister has told ITV News more financial help could be made available to workers who have lost their jobs at SSI UK.

David Cameron said it is very difficult for the Redcar workforce, but the business had never been out of losses and did not have a secure future,

He also said he is making sure the Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, and Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, do everything they can to help people through the £80 million rescue package, and senior cabinet ministers have been visiting Redcar to listen to workers' concerns.

Speaking to political correspondent Paul Brand, the Prime Minister addressed worries the bulk of the package would go on redundancies, not training opportunities:

SSI UK: Update from Government Insolvency Service

The Official Receiver is continuing to establish the affairs of the company and discussing the future use of its assets with interested parties.

Some 650 staff were retained over the weekend to operate the Redcar Coke Ovens and manage the site in a safe manner. Staffing requirements are being kept under daily review. The ovens continue to be maintained.

On Friday David Kelly, Toby Underwood and Ian Green from PwC were appointed as special managers and continue to assist and support the Official Receiver in the discharge of his duties.

Former SSI workers are able to make a claim for redundancy and other entitlements from the Redundancy Payments Service (RPS).

Redundancy payments enquiry line: 0330 331 0020


SSI UK: Hargreaves updates stock exchange

Hargreaves has released an update to the UK Stock Market clarifying its position.

  • Contrary to press speculation over the weekend, Hargreaves has never contemplated buying the steelworks with a view to re-starting the blast furnace when market conditions improve.
  • The company is willing to support any viable plan that can be developed to prevent the coke ovens from being destroyed. In the absence of such a plan being developed and implemented, we have prepared plans to wind down operations on site with immediate effect.
  • The liquidation of SSI will leave the company with coal and coke stocks of approximately £14m. These stock positions have been very carefully managed and monitored and will be turned into cash in an orderly fashion over the next twelve months.

SAFC Blog: Brendan Rogers is the right man at entirely the wrong time

Brendan Rogers among favourites to be Sunderland boss Credit: PA

By Martyn McFadden

It’s been a week of misinformation and speculation as far as Sunderland are concerned, culminating in us being managerless yesterday afternoon.

The Sunday papers said "Advocaat quits Cats", but he hadn’t. They also said the Congerton left on Friday, or Saturday, but he didn’t. It would have been nice had there been a club statement that simply said yes or no to the Congerton question, although the Director of Football/Sporting Director role at Sunderland has been proven to be at best suspect, and at worst totally inefficient.

I doubt if there’d be many tears shed on Wearside if the answer was "yes." Then, of course, came announcement that Dick had indeed left, apparently of his own volition and without financial compensation. New manager, please.

The second most important thing at the moment is to get some points on the board, and the performance against West Ham, first half in particular, showed that we can play football.

In what was by far our best performance of the season, we should have been over the hill and far away from the Hammers by half time, but firstly allowed the visitors back into it, and then to draw level. Poor goalkeeping for the second, and a freshly-booked Cattermole holding back to allow the cross for the first. Add 90 minutes of inconsistent refereeing, a spot of stupidity by Lens, and it was a typical outcome for a Sunderland "improved performance."

As I write, I have no idea who will be the next boss. Allardyce is the easy target for speculation, Dyche had a good plan but insufficient quality at Burnley to make it work, Vieira says he's not interested but lacks experience anyway and Rogers is the right man at entirely the wrong time.

Therefore, I don't know who's next. We'll find out soon enough, I hope

Acquisition of SSI coke ovens to be discussed this afternoon

Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Tom Blenkinsop says he understands a meeting between Hargreaves and receivers will take place this afternoon over acquisition of the coke ovens.

He confirmed reports Hargreaves have been keeping the coke ovens going for around the last couple of weeks by supplying coal at their own cost.

Suggestions that a deal had to be done by 9am this morning he claims are wide of the mark. As long as there is a prospect of a deal within a reasonable timeframe his feeling is that Hargreaves would continue to keep the ovens alive.

We have to wait now to see what comes out of those talks. These are important discussions involving lawyers and accountants. We need to give them the space to work towards a decision that will hopefully be a positive one.

– Tom Blenkinsop MP

Hope that administrators will give an update on SSI crisis

Administrators spent the weekend assessing the SSI site's assets Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

It is hoped that more information will be released today by the administrators who are managing the mothballed SSI steelworks in Redcar. The Durham based coal-mining firm Hargreaves Services has submitted its plan to the official receivers to take over the site and maintain it, with the possibility of re-starting production when the global steel price increases. Any such deal would certainly bring some hope to the hundreds of workers and their families who have spent weeks fighting against closure, and the loss of 160 years of steelmaking on Teesside. SSI UK went into liquidation on Friday with the loss of the site's entire 2,200 workforce. Administrators have spent the weekend examining the assets at the site with a view to possibly selling parts off.

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