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Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Monday, 9 August 2010 13:27 UK
Vandals target Shotton Steelworks' landmark building

Shotton Steelworks' general office, courtesy Gerald Davison
The distinctive red brick works' general office is still a major feature on the Dee

Concerns are being raised about the future of Deeside's landmark building, the former Shotton Steelworks general office.

Currently standing empty, the five-storey Grade II building has become a target for thieves and vandals with £30,000 spent on security this summer around the site off Welsh Road, Garden City.

Agents boarded up windows and installed fencing to make the building safe since the new landowners, Pochin Goodman, paid £5m for 200 acres of surplus land in June, including the general office and four other buildings.

Shotton Steelworks' site in 1970s, courtesy Corus archives

Although they have yet to announce firm plans for developing the land formerly owned by steelmakers Corus, the general office was initially intended to be let.

But Sue Haslam, a director for agents Legat Owen, Chester, said its general state of repair meant that was not possible and the site would be left closed until Pochin was ready to develop the area as part of wider plans, possibly including the vacant RAF Sealand on adjacent land.

She said: "The site has been targeted. They have stripped anything valuable.

"This is terrible for the building but it's dangerous for the people concerned.

"We've had people climbing up drainpipes and breaking windows to get in, and someone broke into a sub station and took out a transformer.

"They could have electrocuted themselves."

Meanwhile, local councillor Chris Jones is concerned for the future of the general office building - founded in 1907 - although it cannot be demolished because of its listed status.

"John Summers must be turning in his grave to think his beautiful building is being destroyed by mindless vandals," she told the Flintshire Chronicle.

It was in 1895 that brothers Harry and James Summers put it to their four brothers to extend the family business founded by their father, John, and buy 40 acres of Dee marshland to start production of galvanised steel sheeting.

In the end, they bought 10,000 acres and the general office was built at the site entrance, dominating the view on the banks of the Dee.


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