Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has welcomed the resumption of production at British Steel’s Skinningrove site, with around 300 furloughed staff due to return to work from Monday.
Earlier this month, British Steel announced it was suspending production at Skinningrove for three weeks due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The site at Lackenby was not affected by this and the company’s facility in Darlington also remained open.
Following this suspension, British Steel now says it has increased confidence in its ability to navigate its way through this situation and produce the requisite volumes of Special Profiles at Skinningrove.
Mayor Houchen has received assurances that those employees returning to work will have the same high levels of protection that British Steel is providing to workers across all its operations, including the provision of face masks, improved cleaning standards, and appropriate social distancing.
Mayor Houchen said: “The steeliness in the workers on Teesside means I always knew we could get through this unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in.
“British Steel getting back to work in an appropriate and safe manor is a sign that we will succeed as a region and come back bigger, better and stronger than ever before.
“Since May last year a huge number of people have worked tirelessly to secure the long-term future of British Steel. The firm remains committed to our region and that is shown by the hundreds of Teesside workers who will be returning on Monday. I’d like to thank all of them for their understanding and patience during this difficult time.
“Make no mistake, we are still in difficult circumstances and there is a lot of hard work that lies ahead for businesses across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool, but this positive step for British Steel shows there is a bright future once we overcome the unprecedented situation we find ourselves in.
“My absolute priority remains Tees Valley workers and I will do everything I can to make sure they and their families get the support they need during the unprecedented challenge we face as a region and as a nation.”