A black and white front page wrap marking the loss of 1,700 jobs in a steelworks closure has been published by a regional daily.
The Northern Echo printed the special wraparound today after Thai company SSI announced it was mothballing iron and steelmaking at its Redcar plant.
A fortnight ago SSI has announced it was “pausing” steel production at the facility, leading the Echo to launch a ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign urging the government to intervene.
However, the company has now said it is mothballing steelmaking at the site for at least five years, citing poor trading conditions and the low price of steel across the world for the closure.
The wrap, shown above, features a picture of an abandoned boat on the River Tees in front of the steelworks, with the headline taken from a quote by one affected steelworker to the Echo.
Editor Peter Barron is the son of a steelworker and grew up in the steel community of South Bank, near Middlesbrough.
He said: “These communities are part of what’s going to be devastated so I have quite a strong empathy with what’s happening, and the depth of the impact that people are going to feel.
“It’s just such a huge story for the area with massive implications. I felt it was important we did something that captures the enormity of the whole situation and I feel we;ve done that.
“I feel (the picture) symbolises the feeling on Teesside.”
Peter has vowed to continue the ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign to urge the government to keep the blast furnaces lit in the hope a buyer can be found and another operator can come in.
It is estimated up to 9,000 jobs in Teesside’s steel supply chain could be affected by the closure.
He added: “It’s a very simple campaign. What we’re saying is the fabric of society, right down to corner shops ans schools, live and breathe steel.
“We think it makes economic sense to keep things going.
“If they can bail out the banks, why can’t they bail out the steelworks?”