1. ITV Report

Two years after SSI closure many steelworkers 'still struggling' says MP

On the second anniversary of the closure of the SSI steelworks and coke ovens in Redcar, the constituency MP Anna Turley has called for more support for families of ex-steelworkers and contractors who are still struggling.

Anna Turley MP. Credit: Labour Party

“It has been a tough two years for many families, since their livelihoods were shattered when the steelworks closed. My immediate thoughts are with those families who have felt the stress and strain of their redundancy every single day since. Whilst many of the 3,000 people who lost their jobs have secured new work, there are still families who are struggling to make ends meet.

“People are still coming to my surgeries and visiting the local citizen’s advice bureau with problems on low pay, personal debt and mortgages arrears. Even those who have managed to find secure work have often had to deal with much lower earnings. It is heart-breaking that 24 months later the situation has barely moved forward for these families. They can’t be forgotten and left to struggle on without any support."

– Anna Turley MP, Redcar, Labour

In the wake of the steelworks closure, the SSI Task Force was set up to support new business start-ups, and to help fund training for former employees.

The government agreed funding packages worth £53m to provide a range of support schemes.

In August this year the Prime Minister Theresa May launched the South Tees Development Corporation, which has been working on plans to redevelop a 4,500-acre stretch of land on the south bank of the River Tees, including the site of the former SSI plant.

It was hoped that this would create thousands of jobs.

Theresa May travelled to the region to launch the STDC. Credit: ITV News

"I want every part of the UK to reach its full potential and the regeneration of South Tees is a crucial step to stimulate economic growth across Tees Valley.

The South Tees Development Corporation - the first of its kind outside of London - is a prime example of how placing power in the hands of local communities can drive growth. To deliver a strong, outward-looking Northern Powerhouse, part of an Industrial Strategy that works to improve productivity, we have to see all corners of the North reach their full economic potential. This long-term plan being led by Mayor Ben Houchen will bring great new opportunities for South Tees, helping to create the conditions where successful businesses can emerge and grow, and in turn provide high-quality jobs for local people."

– Theresa May, speaking August 23rd 2017