In a good news story for the UK, Tata Steel and the Thai company SSI have signed a £291 million deal that will secure 700 steelworkers' jobs in Teesside.

Tata Steel UK will sell certain assets from the Teesside Cast Products (TCP) to Sahaviriya Steel Industries UK Ltd (SSI) in a deal which is to complete by the end of March.

The business secretary Vince Cable said "This deal is very good news for workers at the Teesside plant and the region. I welcome the return of steelmaking to this historic steel site later this year. Coming just over a year after the plant was mothballed, it is a tribute to both companies involved – Tata Steel and SSI."

Assets to be sold include Redcar Blast Furnace, Redcar and South Bank coke ovens, TCP's power generation facilities and sinter plant together with the Lackenby steel-making and casting facilities.

It is also hoped that the deal will create hundreds of new jobs in the area.

Tata will continue to operate mills in the area. Tata and SSI are also entering into a joint venture to operate Redcar Wharf, which meets both their local requirements.

Karl-Ulrich Kahler, MD & CEO of Tata Steel in Europe said 'I am very encouraged that after all our efforts we have been able to reach this agreement, which is good news for the highly skilled and dedicated Teesside workforce'.

SSI president Win Viriyaprapaikit said: 'This is a historic moment for both Teesside and SSI, one that would not have been possible without the local community's passion for steel-making and the help of the UK Government".

After the knocks the area has taken over this issue in the last year or so this is some very welcome good news in a time when we have become too used to bad news.

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