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"There's nobody in this town that doesn't know somebody who works in this steel works"

Nearly 1,000 job losses at Tata's Scunthorpe plant will leave workers worried well beyond the gates of the huge works in a town synonymous with steel-making.

For 150 years the industry has dominated the economy and the landscape of north Lincolnshire.

At its height, in the 1950s, steel-making employed close to 30,000 people in the town but these numbers have steadily declined over the last 40 years.

Despite that only a fraction of this number is still employed in making steel, the current workforce of 4,000 is still by far the biggest in the private sector in the area and supports thousands more in the region.

Works chaplain the Reverend Peter Vickers said losing almost a quarter of these jobs will ripple out into the whole region.

"It's a worrying time for the area. You can't just lose nearly a thousand jobs and it not having an effect. It's going to be felt very hard."

– Reverend Peter Vickers

He said he thinks in terms of 900 job losses meaning 2,700 immediate family members impacted by the announcement. Then, he said, he multiplies that by four to work out the number of people in the wider economy who are affected.

"That's when international economics hits the local and that's where Scunthorpe is at the moment. It's going to have an enormous impact. The ripple effect will be felt an awful lot wider than Scunthorpe itself. An awful lot of companies are looking at how much they are involved in the Tata supply chain. I guess they're sitting now and looking at their balance sheets and thinking 'how will this affect us.'"

– Reverend Peter Vickers

Community union convenor Paul McBean said:

"It will really affect the local economy, if you take that many jobs out of this site and the families that are affected directly or indirectly. There's nobody in this town that doesn't know somebody who works in this steel works."

– Paul McBean, Community Union

Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire council, said the industry had been hit by a "perfect storm" and was a blow that has come just as the town had recovered from around 500 job losses at the plant four years ago.

"Everything was going absolutely fantastic - a dramatic drop in unemployment and then, unfortunately, we had the news today. Unfortunately we're here again but we're in a better place. We've got less unemployment than we've had for many, many years. Four years ago we had about 500 to 600 redundancies at Tata together with two other major job losses but we worked that through. We created 800 jobs in two years so some good came out of a difficult situation. This is a steel town. The workers are very proud workers, skilled people and it is a very sad time. One job loss is one job loss too much. And we want to be here ready to support them."

– Cllr Liz Redfearn, North Lincolnshire council

Mrs Redfern said the challenge was to replace the relatively high-paid, high skilled jobs at the steel works.

The Tory councillor said she had already set up a taskforce to respond to the job losses and has spoken to business minister Anna Soubry about how Government can help.

Scunthorpe is one of Tata's two integrated steel works in the UK - it makes steel from the beginning of the process to a full range of products. Only recently, the plant announced it had supplied a million tonnes of rails for the UK's train network in one year.

The works loom over Scunthorpe with the "Four Queens" blast furnaces - built between 1938 and 1954 - providing a skyline as familiar to those in north Lincolnshire as the Empire State Building is to New Yorkers.

The familiar red glow over the dark hulks of Queen Bess, Queen Victoria, Queen Anne and Queen Mary at night is thought to have inspired Scunthorpe's motto: "The heavens reflect our labours."

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