Corus has received a bid to buy its recently mothballed Teesside Cast Products plant.
Yesterday (25 March), elected Mayor of Middlesbrough Ray Mallon confirmed a team of entrepreneurs and investors have submitted an offer to buy the plant to continue with steel-making on Teesside and further assist in the regeneration of the area.
The team consists of local entrepreneurs Chris Musgrave and Paul Weavers alongside a syndicate of investors led by metallurgy experts Hatch Corporate Finance.
Mallon said: No-one should be in any doubt that there is still a long way to go before any steel jobs are saved and it may still prove impossible so people should not build their hopes up, but todays news is welcome and is a step in the right direction.
Its likely that any successful bid will require Government support. An election is looming and we dont know who the Government will be after that, which is why both major parties have been fully briefed.
Chris Musgrave is the chief executive of JC Musgrave, which owns part of the Wynard Park Business Development, in the Tees Valley in a joint venture with Helios Property.
This is a different industry to those on the Wynard site but the principle of building sustainable business is the same.
An offer for the Corus site which combines local knowledge and international expertise has been made. This can work with the support of the Unions, Tata and the Government, said Musgrave.
Hatch Corporate Finance steel industry expert Rod Beddow has drawn up a model for sustainable steel production at the site. It focuses on suppliers and end product buyers being part of the plants ownership and flexibility on fixed costs such as wages. As a result, it is thought the plant should be able to adjust to fluctuating world steel prices.
A Corus spokesperson commented: Since the TCP offtake consortium reneged on its 10-year binding contract with Corus in April last year, Corus has continuously sought a long-term future for its TCP business. This is something the company continues to do. Any meaningful approaches are welcome from potential strategic partners that have the necessary financial capability as well as a long-term requirement for TCP's three million tonnes per year of slab output and we will enter into good faith discussions with any such investor.