SSI money boost for banks to aid Teesside families

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Image source, STDC
Image caption,
The SSI plant and neighbouring sites could eventually create jobs for 20,000 people

Money set aside to help workers of a former steelworks is to be used to set up two banks to ward off loan sharks.

Now Middlesbrough Council and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have secured £265,000 from the SSI taskforce fund to set up two community banks.

The money will be used to help people who do not have banks accounts to save or get credit without having to resort to loan sharks.

On the day SSI collapsed the Government announced a package of £80m and a set up a special task force to try and help those out of work find new jobs.

The idea is being supported by Redcar and Cleveland council leader Sue Jeffrey and Middlesbrough mayor Dave Budd.

Mr Budd said the banks would help those who felt "financially excluded and exploited".

He said: "This is part of a solution to help different people, one of the things that the SSI taskforce didn't want to do was spend the money, close the door and go away.

"What it wanted to do was leave a legacy to improve the area over time. The poorer you are the more you pay for credit in high interest - we need an alternative."

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