Recent announcements from Corus indicate a brighter future for the UK Steel Industry following what can only be described as a very dark period of struggle.
The industry appeared to be on the brink of collapse with orders diminisihing during the recession and workers suffering cuts in overtime and shift payments along with an aborted attempt to agree a wage cut by management and unions.
The company has been in profit for the last 3 quarters and new jobs are being created.
In Lanarkshire there is to be £8m worth of investment in a new 3500 tonne press which will help create 60 new jobs.This investment will double the capacity to produce heavy levelled plate which is used in foundations for offshore wind turbines, power plant construction and heavy machinery.
At Port Talbot Blast Furnace No.4 is to be rebuilt at a cost of £185m this work is due to begin in 2012.
It will increase capacity at the plant by 400,000 tonnes.
More significantly there are plans to build a new manufacturing plant at Redcar which will create over 200 jobs. This news will be a welcome relief for the beleaguered area of Teesside which suffered the mothballing of its Steel Plant earlier this year. The plant will produce goods for the green energy market.
Coupled with this is the news that talks are progressing over the sale of Teesside Cast Products which may result in securing a future for Steelmaking in the North-East.
Unite's national officer, Terry Pye, said: "The new manufacturing plant will create hundreds of jobs which will support Britain's future energy requirements, this is great news for Teesside.
"Discussions on the sale of Corus's Teesside Cast Products plant is continuing, and we are hoping there will be a successful sale soon.
"For years workers at Corus have faced cut backs. The successful sale of TCP together with the new manufacturing facility would mean a brighter future for Teesside. Unite is urging Corus to complete the sale and revive steelmaking in Teesside."
The main problem with all of this is the fact that the ConDem Coalition look set upon cutting back on infrastructure investment which may well result in the demand for Steel reducing and once again putting jobs at risk.