£3.5m boost for Tata safety and security as Scunthorpe steelworks visitor centre opens
A multi-million-pound visitor centre has been opened to tighten up security and safety on the 2,000-acre Scunthorpe Tata Steel works.
The centre, located at Gate A, just off Mortal Ash Hill, is now open and ready for visitors to register their vehicles and complete health and safety inductions.
The investment is in response to a series of high-profile scrap metal thefts from the site.
More than £300,000 of metal was stolen from the steelworks this year.
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The project, which is believed to have cost £3.5 million, is part of a long-standing scheme to enhance security arrangements on the site.
Tata Steel chiefs insist the barriers will not restrict any authorised visitors from accessing the site, including those residents in nearby Santon and Dawes Lane businesses.
There has also been an introduction of 24-hour manned barriers and automatic number plate recognition technology at gates D and A (Brigg Road and Mortal Ash Hill) and on Dawes Lane.
Visitors now need to authorise their vehicles in the visitor centre in order to get on site.
Frequent visitors should register their vehicles before November 5, when the new barriers will come into force.
Martin Welch, security services manager at Tata Steel, said: "The new centre is all about security and safety.
"The project uses the latest technology and will help to reduce theft from the site.
"It is hoped that the new security system will stop unauthorised access and also gives us the opportunity to look at traffic volumes."
The centre also has a new car park with space for 22 HGVs and more than 30 cars.
Jeff Rees, business safety manager at Tata Steel, said: "Everyone who visits the site for the first time will now need to complete a 30-minute health and safety induction to ensure everyone fully understands the rules and the risks of the steel works. The centre provides a professional experience for visitors to the site."
The visitor centre will be open from 7am until 6pm from Monday to Friday. It took 12 months to build.
Mr Rees said: "It is going to plan so far and we are very pleased with the finished building.
"It has made a huge difference in comparison to the old building where we used to do the safety inductions."
Currently around 1,200 people visit Tata Steel a month and managers said the centre was needed because of the sheer volume of traffic on the site every day.