20 Mar 2017

Northern Powerhouse Minister visits Teesside to meet British Steel & Caterpillar employees

Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy MP today visited Teesside to meet the management and employees of British Steel and Caterpillar.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop joined Mr Percy on the visit to Skinningrove, which allowed the companies to demonstrate how their close-working relationship is helping the 400 employees deliver market-leading components for earthmoving equipment.

Peter Gate, British Steel’s Managing Director for Special Profiles, said: “Our Skinningrove business is rapidly developing and that’s not only down to the efforts of our employees but the strong partnership we have with Caterpillar.

“Among the many products we make is track shoe long bar which we transfer to Caterpillar’s adjoining factory where it is processed for use in bulldozers and excavators.

“By working together we have been able to jointly tackle the challenges we face, thereby improving the quality of the goods we make and improving production methods and times.

“We were delighted to welcome the Minister and Mr Blenkinsop to Skinningrove to show how we are working together to not only build our businesses but support the communities and region in which we operate.

“British Steel is in regular and constructive dialogue with Government and while there is a long way to go on our road to a sustainable future – particularly in areas like energy costs – we are encouraged by the way our employees, customers and partners have embraced the challenges we face.”

British Steel employs 331 people at Skinningrove, Caterpillar employs 54 people and 11 agency workers. Their operations sit side by side and this has enabled them to collaborate on projects and product development.

Neil Anderson, Caterpillar’s Managing Director at Skinningrove, said: “The great working relationship between our businesses has helped us to make quick progress in key areas and both Caterpillar and British Steel are much stronger because of this.

“I’d like to thank Tom Blenkinsop for helping organise today’s visit and the Minister for the interest he has shown in our Skinningrove operations. We are keen to work with the Government to support our long-term aims for this region and its people.”

Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy said: “We’re backing businesses right across the North with over half a billion pounds in investment to boost economic growth and create more jobs.

“It was great to meet the teams from British Steel and Caterpillar, who working together are making sure the Northern Powerhouse has strong foundations. 

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP Tom Blenkinsop said: “I am really glad the Minister accepted my invitation to visit Skinningrove. British Steel and Caterpillar are the perfect example of how company cooperation can help both businesses involved and the local economy.

“I hope the Minister will feed lessons from the Skinningrove sites into the Government’s Industrial Strategy and Northern Powerhouse plans.

“Once again, Teesside’s industries are leading the way.”