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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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1,700 jobs to be lost as Redcar steel plant is closed down

The company halted production on 18 September. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Up to 1,700 jobs are to be lost as iron and steelmaking at the Redcar steel plant is closed down, owner SSI has confirmed.

SSI halted production on 18 September because of a global drop in the price of steel, and said it had "no other option".

There had been concern over whether workers would get paid their final month's wages but following intervention from unions and MPs, the plant's owner confirmed on Friday 25 September that they would be paid.

A taskforce has been set up to offer support for staff and liaise with SSI.

The local MP said the announcement was "devastating" for the area and the economy and accused the Government of "fast and loose" with the plant's future.

It's absolutely heartbreaking, it's devastating. It's a huge number of jobs, it's a huge number of livelihoods, but it is more than that to our community.

"Redcar was built on steelmaking, Teesside was built on steelmaking. It's about generations of people that have worked in that blast furnace and fought so hard, not just in the last few days but in the last few weeks, months, years, to keep steelmaking alive. It's just been allowed to fizzle out.

– Anna Turley, Labour MP for Redcar

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