Dorman Long tower in Middlesbrough to be demolished after recent Grade II listed status is rescinded


The historic Dorman Long tower in Middlesbrough will be demolished, after new culture secretary Nadine Dorries rescinded its recent grade II listed status, following an appeal.

It follows more than a year of campaigning to maintain the tower which served Teesside's Dorman Long steelworks. It's not clear when the tower will be demolished but it could be as early as this weekend.Campaigners celebrated last week after Teessider Nick Taylor lodged a successful bid to list the former South Bank coal tower - with the hope it could become a hub to showcase the area's cultural and industrial heritage. 

It's understood the controlled explosion will take place between midnight and 2am on Sunday 19 September.



But it has now been stripped of Historic England status after an appeal from the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen - and the intervention of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 

TVCA officials say crunch talks were held over the weekend between Mr Houchen, Historic England, and Teesworks bosses to challenge the Historic England listing. 

They claimed the listing had cost an extra £40,000 to £50,000 to the taxpayer and risked projects earmarked for the wider site. 



An appeal was lodged on Sunday night alongside a request to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. 

Mr Houchen said this had been successful - adding that it showed how important the redevelopment of the former Redcar steelworks was to the government. 

He also claimed the listing would have cost jobs and investment at the site if the status remained.


Two petitions to save the tower were set up in the wake of demolition plans emerging.

Charities and campaigners have argued it is a monument to Teesside's industrial past - with concerns about the level of consultation with the public ahead of the move.

Last week, Mr Taylor said: "Teesworks seems hell-bent on demolishing this iconic structure. "

Teesworks bosses pointed to an independent report by engineers Atkins which showed "ongoing and irreversible" damage to the structure meant it could cost between £7m and £9m to secure and maintain.

Concrete cracking and weakening as well as "general age-related wear and tear" were also cited - with concerns about demolition costs rising further in future years.

The Conservative mayor claimed Historic England officials had agreed to the listing without seeing the structure itself. 

Historic England said its officers had visited the site and agreed it merited Grade II status after the review was launched.