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We call on Ben Houchen, Mayor of the Tees Valley, to stop demolition of Teesside's last remaining blast furnace, representing over 170 years of Iron and Steelmaking on Teesside. 

Economic arguments against the retention do not stand up to scrutiny. No employment opportunities or income would be lost by keeping the Heart of the Furnace. It would need a maximum of 4 acres out of a site of 4000 acres - only 1/1000 of the space available for development - and this 4 acres is sandwiched between the Net Zero development site and the road. During discussions with Net Zero, it was confirmed that in their planning application the Blast Furnace would be retained due to its heritage value.

The widely-publicised costs are also inaccurate and can be easily disproved. 

  • £5.4m has been assigned for demolition in the cost - but this will be included in the separate demolition budget
  • £6.5m is said to be needed for safe access for the public and stabilising when the public will view this structure from a distance - but no public access will be needed.
  • £2.6m has been assigned for a Visitors’ Centre - again, due to lack of public access, this would not be needed.
  • £2.1m has been designated for corrosion protection - but only 20% of this would be needed if only the Heart is retained (as proposed by Save our Steel Heritage's proposed concept) 
  • The £6.8m for project management/consultancy would be significantly reduced, as most of the site would be demolished in the SOSH proposal - and these sums are already budgeted for as part of site reclamation costs.    

Save Our Steel Heritage Campaign has developed sensible proposals to strip the blast furnace to its core structure, "The Heart of the Furnace", saving money on demolition and not impeding on any future development land. Larger than the Angel of the North, the Heart of the Furnace would act as an iconic sculpture, a new landmark for all Teessiders to be proud of. 

This new sculpture would be located in the perfect spot to celebrate our unique industrial heritage— opposite a local beauty spot, Coatham Sands and alongside two national paths, it would act as a new tourist attraction for visitors to Redcar. Lit up at night using innovative and green technologies, it would create a striking landmark at the gateway of the River Tees.