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Government under fire as Redcar coke ovens and blast furnace to shut

The coke ovens and blast furnace at SSI steel works plant in Redcar, Teesside, are to close, as no viable offers have been put forward by potential buyers, the firm's official receiver has said.

The government has come under fire from MPs, local councillors and union leaders, who accuse ministers of failing to act to save the plant.

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Closure of SSI coke ovens & furnace 'worst possible news'

The closure of the coke ovens and blast furnace at SSI steel works in Redcar is the "worst possible news", local council leaders have said.

The closure of the coke ovens and furnace was announced today Credit: PA

Hitting out at the government for not doing more, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council leader Sue Jeffrey said hearing the news was "an absolutely heartbreaking moment".

Our proud history of years of steelmaking has been torn out from under us.

We have been so proud of our heritage and I cannot believe it has slipped away in the space of a few weeks.

So many people have been affected by the closure - the steelworkers and their families, the supply chain and the wider economic impact this will have on our local area. It is devastating.

– Sue Jeffrey, council leader

The council will do "everything possible" to help those affected, she added. She also accused the government of inaction, allowing the closures to happen by not intervening sooner - and said the £80 million package of measures offered was "simply not enough".

" We now need to look at if the hard closure takes place as has been indicated, how we look to secure the site for the future and bring it back to contributing towards the economy in Redcar," she said.

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