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Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Closure of the works in 1980

Part of an online exhibition to mark the fortieth anniversary of the closure of Consett Steel Works in 1980.

Prince Charles visiting Consett to open Derwentside Industrial Development Agency, 3 December 1982 (ND/De 73/14) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office

The closure in 1980 sent a shockwave across the country and was strongly opposed by the community, facing an uncertain future.

Save Consett Steel campaign poster: 'Do You Want to Live in a Ghost Town', 1980 (D/X 1536/86) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office             Save Consett Steel campaign poster: 'Consett 1980, Consett 1981, In Memory of Consett 1990' (D/X 1536/85) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office

Cooling towers of Consett Steel Works, near Albert Road, Consett, August 1980 (D/X 1536/110) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office
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Thousands of lives were drastically changed and livelihoods suspended.

Consett fought back, however, when the then Derwentside District Council together with the Project Genesis Trust introduced a plan of revitalisation of the local economy and reclamation of the environment damaged by heavy industry.

That work continues today, with new schemes to benefit the local community, and pride in the town's heritage remains strong.

Save Consett Steel campaign poster: '2,000,000 In the Queue Today.... 2,000,000 + Consett Tomorrow', 1980 (D/X 1536/88) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office
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Visit NERA: the only digital archive for regeneration projects in North East England to read more about the regeneration scheme for Consett:

Reclamation and Industrial Regeneration: Post 1980 by Derwentside District Council.


Images on this page:

  • HRH Prince Charles visiting Consett to open Derwentside Industrial Development Agency, 3 December 1982 (ND/De 73/14)
  • Save Consett Steel campaign poster: 'Do You Want to Live in a Ghost Town', 1980 (D/X 1536/86)
  • Save Consett Steel campaign poster: 'Consett 1980, Consett 1981, In Memory of Consett 1990' (D/X 1536/85)
  • Cooling towers of Consett Steel Works, near Albert Road, Consett, August 1980 (D/X 1536/110)
  • Save Consett Steel campaign poster: '2,000,000 In the Queue Today.... 2,000,000 + Consett Tomorrow', 1980 (D/X 1536/88)