The MP for Redcar is to fly to Italy to hold talks about the future of under-threat steelworks Corus. Earlier this month a consortium of firms, led by Italian steel specialists Marcegaglia, pulled out of a 10-year deal, threatening nearly 2,000 jobs. But Vera Baird said she was hopeful of saving the plant, after being invited by Marcegaglia for a summit. She also said the talks in Mantua offered a "chink of light" for the Corus site, Teesside Cast Products. The agreement which has fallen through was signed in 2004 and committed the consortium of Marcegaglia SpA, Dongkuk Steel Mills Co Ltd, Duferco Participations Holding Ltd and Alvory SA, to buying just under 78% of the plant's production for 10 years.
In a separate development anger among Teesside’s steel families has turned to action yet again, with more than 5,000 now signed up to the Save Our Steel campaign on Facebook.
Following a national protest in Birmingham led by Teesside Corus workers, the region is also highlighting the plight of Britain’s battered manufacturing sector through the internet campaign.