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.
Hundreds of families in the North East are struggling to come to terms with the impending closure of the SSI steelworks plant in Redcar.
The government has decided to allow the steel plant at Redcar to fail. A tough decision to make and obviously an unpopular one.
China's economy is slowing, and the aftershocks are being felt as far afield as Redcar.