The Archbishop of York has today issued a statement following the decision to mothball the iron and steelmaking plant at Redcar.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu said: “The news on Monday that SSI UK had reached the decision to mothball the iron and steelmaking at the Redcar site for up to five years as a result of poor trading conditions and low world steel prices has been a hammer blow not only to the workers, but also their families and the local community. When I was Bishop of Birmingham, we saw the collapse of Rover. I have seen the effect this can have on a community and the wider loss of a skilled labour resource. The Government needs to be supporting the manufacturing sector – it has a critical role in our UK economy and in our regional economies as well. It is my hope that the SSI plant executives with the Union officials can find a way forward to retain the skills in the area and to maintain the facilities if it is deemed possible to resume production. In any case this closure should be a spur to innovation and investments in Teesside, whose skilled and dedicated workforce have enormous potential. I will try to do all I can as an advocate for workers and their families – and for the future of their community – at this difficult time.”