British Steel has submitted the planning application for a £26 million upgrade to its Special Profiles business.
The plans for a new service centre at Skinningrove, which include cut-to-length lines, product milling, machining and warehousing operations, would enable the company to make and process an extended range of value-added profiles for the forklift industry.
David Hogg, Special Profiles Plant Manager, said: “These plans represent the biggest single investment in our Special Profiles business for more than 30 years and will ensure we remain a leading global manufacturer.
“If our plans are approved, we hope to start building works later this year with commissioning expected to start in August 2023.”
British Steel’s Special Profiles business makes components for a wide range of sectors including the forklift and earthmoving industries.
Its plans for the new service centre, which would sit at the heart of the company’s Skinningrove site, have been submitted to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council for approval. They were designed by lead architects Building Design Northern (BDN Ltd) and have already received widespread support from British Steel’s customers.
David Waine, British Steel’s Commercial Director for Special Profiles, said: “Since we announced the investment we have had nothing but positive feedback from current and prospective new customers.
“The plans will enable us to manufacture world-class products to the tightest of tolerances. They will also enable us to explore new growth opportunities for although our primary product offering would be for forklift mast production, we expect to be able to expand this to include other product applications too.”
Richard Marsden, Managing Director of BDN, said: “The continued investment by British Steel into Skinningrove will provide a huge boost to the Tees Valley’s historic steel industry and we are delighted to be working closely with the company to help bring this exciting project to life.”
The new Skinningrove facility is designed to replace the services currently offered at the company’s site in Darlington, which stores and cuts profiles to customer requirements. The company revealed in August 2021 that it intends to offer all employees currently based at Darlington new roles to retain and support its skilled workforce.
This latest scheme builds on previous investments, including the installation of a £2 million world-leading surface descaling system, a high-tech product processing centre and a unique robotic identification tracking control for each profile manufactured at the Skinningrove mill.