A BRASS band played outside the gates of Teesside Cast Products as work began to mothball the Redcar plant, with the loss of 1,600 jobs.
The move was sparked by the decision of a consortium of investors to walk away from a 10-year deal with the plant last May, and came despite a campaign to find a buyer.
Corus stressed it was “mothballing, not closure”. Despite the efforts of MP Vera Baird, the event was widely credited for Labour’s loss of the Redcar seat in the election.
Thai steel company SSI eventually stepped in to sign a memorandum of understanding for the sale in August.
RURAL County Durham defence manufacturer Astrum won a £60m contract to supply spares to Army fighting vehicles.
The company employs 250 people at its factory in Stanhope, who will now be supplying track systems for vehicles such as the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank and the Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle for the Ministry of Defence.
NONLINEAR Dynamics and Biosignatures founder Will Dracup announced he would be using his year as a visiting professor at Newcastle University Business School to launch a “lifebank” of patient samples, which could be used to identify anomalies that could hold the key to a better understanding of diseases. Previous winners of the David Goldman Visiting Professor of Business Innovation role include IHC Engineering Business chairman Dr Tony Trapp and pharmacy entrepreneur Fiona Cruickshank.
NEWCASTLE technology entrepreneur Ian Shott ended up £6m richer when he sold his business Excelsyn to an American drugs firm.
Shott created the company in 2004 after buying the Great Lakes Chemical Corporation’s plant in North Wales, and ran the business from his Newcastle home. His work attracted the attention of Albany Molecular Research who bought the company for £12.5m.
IN an exclusive interview with the Journal, Northern Rock chief executive Gary Hoffman revealed “informal discussions” were under way with possible buyers for the State-owned bank. The former Barclays man said there was no timetable for the sale.
In November Hoffman said he was quitting to join a new bank NBNK Investments and turned down a £500,000 “gardening leave” pay package.
Earlier in the year Northern Rock’s David Baker and Richard Barclay were fined for having failed to give an accurate description of the bank’s loans situation.