Thousands of green jobs could be created in Scunthorpe as a globally renowned consultancy firm starts work on a masterplan for a 300-acre advanced manufacturing park.
It comes after British Steel unveiled plans for the biggest transformation in its history – a £1.25bn proposal to become a clean and sustainable business. British Steel’s plans have been met with concern however, due to involving the shutting down of Scunthorpe’s blast furnaces, which could see 2,000 jobs lost.
As part of the plan North Lincolnshire Council and British Steel have said they will develop up to 300-acres on surplus land at the steelworks.
Backed with Government cash, the proposal is designed to create new development opportunities for businesses to create green jobs in the wider steel and engineering sector, harnessing hydrogen technology and accessing global markets with innovative new products through the vast port complex across the wider area.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “There is a huge opportunity to create something new, attracting innovative technology companies and well-paid jobs here to Scunthorpe on an underdeveloped site of industrial heritage.
“The transition to net zero must be through taking opportunity not managed decline – taking advantage of the green opportunities globally while harnessing our engineering skills and capabilities locally is the future.”
North Lincolnshire Council will take a role in developing the site – with a number of prospective new businesses already looking to invest.
Internationally renowned consultants Arup have been drafted in to develop the proposals, focussing on design, engineering, architecture and planning.
Holly Mumby-Croft, MP for Scunthorpe and Vice Chair of the Town Fund Board, said: “It is welcome news for our area that British Steel have committed to work closely with North Lincolnshire Council to develop the future of surplus land on the steelworks site.
“There are businesses interested in coming to North Lincolnshire and I will work with the council and British Steel to ensure we make the most of those opportunities.
“There is a unique expertise in our area, from generations of steelmaking. We need to champion those skills and expand on this with new green and well-paid job opportunities and this plan does just that.”
British Steel’s Chief Commercial & Procurement Officer, Allan Bell, said: “British Steel and our owners, Jingye, are committed to building a sustainable future for our business and the communities in which we operate.
“Parts of our Scunthorpe site offer excellent development opportunities and we look forward to working in partnership with North Lincolnshire Council to realise this potential.”