Major £25million scheme begins to transform Corby's historic steelworks

The huge site will undergo major works during a two-year building programme

Friday, 16th April 2021, 7:16 am
The steelworks will see a £25m investment creating a new warehouse

Tata Steel is to spend £25m upgrading its Corby tube works site in Weldon Road to ensure it is fit for the future.

The scheme will see some existing structures demolished and a new warehouse built which will streamline production at the sprawling 150-acre site at the heart of the town's steelworking tradition.

The company says the building work will 'give the business the best chance of a strong future.'

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Initial work has already started at the site which produces vital products for everything from sports stadia and iconic skyscrapers - such as the Shard in London - to hospital beds and renewable green energy schemes around the world. Workers at the site produce steel tube products from steel made at the company’s Port Talbot works which is transported to Corby by rail.

Now manufacturing processes on the site will be brought closer together as part of the £25 million scheme which is being paid for in part with the sale of land freed up by the changes as well as savings from operational improvements.

Chairman of Tata Steel UK Ltd, Sandip Biswas, said: “Steel is, and will continue to be, an essential part of the UK’s plans to decarbonise for the future.

“We need to ensure we are able to make and supply the products right here in the UK which will help transition to a net-zero future.”

The demolition under way at stretch mill number one.

Tata Steel Corby Works Manager, Gary Blackman, said: “The programme is essential to ensuring a sustainable future for our site and generations of steel workers to come. It will enable us to reconfigure our operations and achieve the highest levels of operational efficiency.”

The two-year investment project will see the creation of a single high-tech warehouse, the relocation and upgrading of the important rectangular hollow section (RHS) processing line and the cold mill (CFM). These are where many of the most important products produced by the Corby site are made.

Sustainability is at the core of the improvements with material from old concrete floors being recycled on site to help create the sub-base for the warehouse. Meanwhile the relocation of the RHS and CFM processes will see improved efficiency and reduced energy consumption.

At the same time Tata Steel will work closely with construction partners and the local authority to ensure minimal impact on the surrounding community during the project.

Work has now started to create the warehouse. Nigel Chudley who is leading the project said: “We are creating a single site warehouse within the East Works, which will allow the closure of the South warehouse.

“Significant work is ongoing to prepare the ground for the installation of a racked warehouse solution. Over the last couple of weeks the team have been working with our contractors to break ground, which is the first element of a 14-week programme to prepare the flooring which will support 18,000 tonnes of finished tube product.”

The new warehousing system will bring significant advantages to the current system – enabling the Tubes operation to rotate stock much more efficiently and reduce stock losses.

Commenting on the landmark programme Coenraad Spaans, Tata Steel Operational Director Tubes, said: “The programme will map out a sustainable future for the Corby site and it lays the foundations for future growth.”

Yesterday the Northants Telegraph reported how workers at Corby and other Tata Steel sites around the country are considering what action to take over the rejection of their pay claim.