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An online petition calling for steelmaking to continue on Teesside has now reached 20,000 signatures - meaning the Government must now issue a response.

The petition was set up by Redcar woman Zoe Burey a fortnight ago as news began to break about the crisis at SSI. Any petition topping 100,000 signatures prompts a Government debate.

Meanwhile unions say that hopes have been raised over the future of the steel plant at Redcar, with the news that 650 staff could be retained on site. The Official Receiver continues to discuss the future use of SSI's assets with interested parties, however it;s still not known how long the workers will be required to maintain the coke ovens after the company was placed in the hands of liquidators on Friday.

Durham firm Hargreaves Services has expressed its interest in continuing to operate the coke ovens and there were unconfirmed reports yesterday that a second company was also interested in the SSI site.


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