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Page last updated at 06:27 GMT, Monday, 14 December 2009
Corus - Past, Present and Future

Redcar Steelworks
In the poll, 91% say steel production is important to Teesside

As the news of 1,700 job losses came with plans to mothball Corus, BBC Tees commissioned a poll to find out how you feel about the situation.

ComRes, who conducted the poll, asked 500 people four questions about the closure and its possible effects.

In response to a question about how they rank having steel produced on Teesside, 91% replied that is was important to them.

For full poll results, and more information, see below.

What the poll shows

  • Overall, people believe the steel industry is important and valuable to the region and that the economy would suffer without it
  • 76% of people in Teesside think that the regional economy will get worse in the next 12 months
  • 77% of people in Teesside think that the government should use taxpayers' money to help the steel industry
  • 91% of people in Teesside think that it is important that steel is produced on Teesside
  • 77% of people in Teesside think that the region would suffer a great deal without steel production
  • People in the 55 - 64 age group are most concerned about the steel industry in Teesside

'It's no surprise'

BBC Business and Industry Correspondent Ian Reeve said the poll information isn't a surprise:

"Steel making is a huge part of Teesside's history. We're steeped in it.

"So it's no surprise to me that the people of Teesside - who have in the past been described as being made of steel - want the government to step in to save Corus.

"The 91% who have said the industry is important to them indicate a real strong public feeling, but whether the government will step in still remains to be seen."

ComRes interviewed 500 people in Teesside by telephone between 4 December and 8 December 2009. The results were weighted to be demographically representative of all adults in Teesside. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

Your Comments

Tismee, Cleveland: Where were the government when major employers on the Wilton site declared that they would cease operation?

Where was Mandelson and his supportive, but generally meaningless, words? I guess he sees the steel industry, like the coal industry, ship building, etc as a Labour Party stronghold and as such quickly rallied to the cause.

However, "long term solutions" is a somewhat hackneyed expression and will not fix the area's immediate needs. You just need to look at the areas that were once heavily dependant on coal mining, ship building etc to see the benefits of so called "long term solutions". Creating employment wastelands is not a good solution.

There isn't a lot of point in pumping money into Corus, it's a dinosaur industry which needs to either evolve or die quietly. Plus, do the tax payers really want the Government to bail out private industry (Tata Steel Grp) as well as badly managed Banks? Probably not.

The area has a great workforce with many and varied skills. The Government should be "busting a gut" to attract new, modern industries, to the area before its too late.

Im empathetic to the steel workers plight, I was made redundant this year.

Gemma Roulston, Redhill: I am not at all surprised by the poll. The government could and should step in.

It did it for the bankers, and should do for the steel. If we do not support our industries which help us make things, then we are going to have to pay more money to import things - and give work to other countries. It is not just about Corus - what about their families, their suppliers. The government says it is helping with advice on benefits, and setting up your own business. If people are on benefits - they are not paying NI or tax. Also not everyone wants to be a Bill Gates or a Steve Gibson and set up their own business.

Where is the proof that helping the steel industry is breaking EU law - other members are looking after their own, we should do.

Importing manufactured goods costs money and is not environmentally friendly we should be cutting carbon emissions not increasing them.

Glen Allport, Stockton: What can i say? its just an absolute scandal! how can the people from the companies that pulled out of the deal sleep at night?

Ray Penn, Eaglescliffe: I do think it is very sad that 1700 Corus workers are facing redundancy. However, it is not as if this news was unexpected. I distinctly remember reports in the summer that Corus Teesside was on borrowed time. The fact is, it is cheaper to produce still elsewhere in the world, regardless of the amount of experience that Teesside has. In a time of recession, local or global, large scale manufacturing always takes a hit. Unfortunately Teesside has not got much large scale manufacturing left so it was inevitable that any such move would be felt.

As for Steve Gibson. What a hypocrite! When he wanted the new Riverside Stadium built, he was lambasted for using steel produced in Germany. He had no thought of saving steel production on Teesside when it was his own wallet that paid the bill. Mr Gibson's company Bulkhaul had no qualms about shutting down his tank manufacturing concerns after several lean years so why is he "surprised" that Corus is doing the same.

The question over Government support is far less tricky than reports suggest. Corus is a non-UK based company. Corus is a privately owned company. Corus is not essential to the economic well-being of the UK. Corus has refused to invest further on Teesside, so why on earth should the Government?

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