Steel maker Corus has confirmed it will cut 1,700 jobs after a deal to save the Teeside plant fell through, it has emerged.
The firm said the factory in Redcar would close by the end of January, after efforts to secure new contracts failed.
Kirby Adams, the chief executive of Corus’s parent company Tata Steel Europe, said: “This decision comes with massive human cost which is why we have, all of us, worked so hard and so long to avoid it.
“I’m accutely aware that this is now devastating news for the community, for our employees, for their friends and their family, and to be perfectly honest with you, I don’t believe that there is anything more that the unions and the workforce could have done to try to assist in a better and different outcome.”
The 10-year deal to help the plant survive was signed by an international consortium, who committed to buy just under 78% of the Redcar plant’s production in 2004. However, the group – Marcegaglia of Italy, Dongkuk Steel of South Korea, Duferco Participations of Switzerland, and Alvory of Argentina – sent Adams a letter in May informing him that they were terminating the contract.
Adams said: “All four members of the previous consortium should observe what’s going on here today [Friday] at Teeside and hang their heads in shame.”