Historic Redcar steelworks blast furnace to be demolished within days

Credit: Tees Valley Combined Authority

A date has been set for the major demolition of the historic Redcar blast furnace.

The bulk of the furnace will be pulled down between 9am and 1pm on Wednesday 23 November, weather permitting.

The structure has dominated the Teesside coastline since 1979. It stands at 365ft tall and was ranked the second largest of its kind in Europe.

It is the latest of the former steelworks' buildings being demolished to make way for the Teesworks development.

The announcement comes after a petition by Save Our Steel Heritage Campaign to stop the demolition gained 1,232 signatures online.

They proposed making the furnace an iconic sculpture to celebrate Redcar's steelmaking heritage.

Casting houses, the Dust Catcher, Charge Conveyors, and the Blast Furnace itself will be among structures to come down.

The four enormous gas stoves which heated the furnace are set to be demolished separately in December.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “The Redcar Blast Furnace has marked our skyline for decades – and it will be an emotional day when it comes down.

“But, from the ashes of the past, we are building a green future at Teesworks.

“This has been one of the biggest, most complex, and condensed demolition projects ever to take place in the UK. We’re accelerating our plans to make the land investor-ready as soon as possible to take advantage of all the opportunities our status as a Freeport brings.

“I know this is a highly emotive subject for many - but they should rest assured that the Teesworks Heritage Taskforce has been doing a brilliant job of making sure the site’s past will never be forgotten."

The furnace was first mothballed in 2010 before being restarted by SSI UK when they took over its ownership from Tata Steel in 2012.

In 2015, SSI entered liquidation, sparking the loss of more than 2,000 jobs overnight.

The South Tees Development Corporation relaunched the site under the name Teesworks in 2020.

Jacob Young, MP for Redcar, said: “This demolition will bring about mixed feelings for many Teessiders - and I’ll be among their number on the day. The hard work of the Heritage Taskforce will ensure the memory of the Blast Furnace and our proud steelmaking history will be documented and recognised for generations to come.

“Progress on Teesworks is continuing apace and, while there will be a lot of sadness when the skyline changes, we have huge projects such as Net Zero Teesside which will offer a cleaner, brighter and more prosperous industrial future for us all.”

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