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Last Updated: Monday, 28 April, 2003, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Corus announces 200 new jobs
Shotton steelworks
The new operation will produce factory-made homes

Two hundred jobs are being created at a north Wales steelworks two years after 400 people were made redundant.

A total of 4m has been invested at the Corus plant in Shotton for a new state-of-the-art manufacturing line to make factory-built homes.

The venture has been set up at the Flintshire steelworks to provide people with affordable housing.

The announcement comes two weeks after workers at steel giant Corus - formerly British Steel - held simultaneous protests across Wales to call for the resignation of the struggling company's chairman.

Steel unions wanted Sir Brian Moffat to resign over the troubled company's financial crisis, which has seen more than 3,000 jobs losses across Wales.

Corus protestors
Workers protested against Corus' chairman

Corus Living Solutions has been set up to design, manufacture and deliver fully fitted accommodation from the Shotton works.

General manager Scott Carr said the investment would benefit employment prospects in the area.

"This is a market-driven opportunity for Corus, based on increasing interest in off-site manufacture of buildings for a number of market sectors," he said.

"It is an exciting and challenging venture which opens up new opportunities for Shotton works and the Deeside area."

The company's first order has been secured and workers in Flintshire will make fully fitted-out modules for a new accommodation wing at Ashorne Hill Management College, to be delivered in June.

Corus announced 400 redundancies at the Shotton plant in 2001 as part of job cuts throughout Wales.

'Growing economy'

In January 2002, the Welsh Assembly announced a 1m aid package for steelworkers affected.

Delyn MP David Hanson said the new investment would help get people back into employment.

"This is very welcome for Flintshire and I know it adds to the already growing economy of the area," he said.

Corus said the factory built homes would address many of the issues currently facing the construction industry including skills shortages.

At the moment, it's a toe in the water and it's a question of building the market up
ISTC's Jim Mullins

The company says it will target the demand for social housing and they hope to develop into markets such as education and hotels.

Jim Mullins, the executive council member for steel union ISTC, commented: "It's very good news at a time of great uncertainty for workers.

"The markets aimed at the moment are the Ministry of Defence, the NHS, anywhere that needs mass-produced housing.

"At the moment, it's a toe in the water and it's a question of building the market up.

"We have got to produce the goods to be able to sell them."

He said it was also good news for the 720 people still working at Shotton, adding: "They'll be using the products we make on site."

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