Film ID:
NEFA 9663



Visitor Tabs


An incomplete edition of the Tyne Tees Television political programme Commercial Break in two parts transmitted 31 March 1988. The first relates to a company in the region that produces clubman sports cars and includes footage of one of the cars racing along country roads. The second, and longer, section looks at the town of Consett and what is being done to develop industry and job prospects since the closure of British Steel in 1980.

The film opens in a view of an industrial complex [possibly Billingham] filmed at either sunrise or sunset. The sky is red and the sun is seen behind a chimney [possibly the ICI Tower].

The film cuts to five men working on the engine of clubman sports car in a lay-by. One of the men is Paul Gibson whose company Vision Cars built this vehicle in the region. Low angle shot of the car being driven out of the lay-by. General views of it driving at speed along a number of country roads.

The film cuts to general views of a number of terraced streets built near the site of the now demolished British Steel works at Consett.

General views of a number of units inside a small industrial estate built near the site of the steelworks.

[Picture missing.]

General views of terraced streets around the former steel works in Consett.

The film cuts to the window display of M&S Superstore. The film cuts to views of David Bell and Greenwoods shops in Consett.

Interview with John Casey from the Derwentside Industrial Development Agency who says that Derwentside has a wide diversity of industry and is able to sustain any setbacks in the economy.

The film cuts to a large sign that reads: ‘Consett No. 1 Industrial Estate’ and exterior views of various small factory units within the estate including Douglas Printers, Electrak outside of which a number of cars are parked, and ‘Brewery Products UK’.

John Casey continues by says that Derwentside Industrial Development Agency is seven years into the re-development programme for Consett and they have made considerable progress but there is still much to do.

General view of the derelict ground on the site of the steelworks which, the voiceover says, is typical of the area. Following the failure of the Derwentside Industrial Development Agency to attract companies from outside the region, they are focusing on developing indigenous high tech businesses such as Electrak.

The presenter stands on a pavement inside an industrial estate. He says that new jobs have come to Derwentside from companies such as Blue Ridge Care Ltd a nappy factory which employs a 180 people.

General view of the exterior of the Blue Ridge Care factory.

Interview with a representative of Blue Ridge Care outside their factory. He says the biggest advantage of opening a factory in Consett is not the grants and assistance but the depth and quality of the people in the area.

Interview with Bob Hawker against a wall covered in posters. He says that he went to Newcastle Polytechnic for a three year course in government and public policy. He graduated in 1985 and was unemployed for more than a year.

The film cuts to the shop window of Carricks Take Away Foods. In the window a notice says: ‘This unit will cease trading on Saturday 9 January 1988’. The windows inside Elsie’s Wool and Drapery have been soaped.

The film cuts back to Bob Hawker who doesn't believe that more than 3000 jobs have been created. He thinks that many of these jobs are only part-time or are part of employment schemes and are low paid in comparison to the steelworks.

Interview with representative of Blue Ridge Care who says 65% of the workforce is male and that the pay is good.

The film cuts to an interview with a second man who says that he was made redundant from the steelworks in 1979. He has been on 3 MSE schemes and has re-trained as a welder. However, he has been out of work for 4 years.

The film cuts back to the representative of Blue Ridge Care who says that Britain and Derwentside are booming.

General view of the exterior of the factory of Bio Processes which does protein separation. In a laboratory technicians are seen working.

Interview with Frank Roberts from Bio Processes who says that 50% of their workforce come from the Derwentside area. However, they don’t employ any former steelworkers as their skillset is different.

A machine injects fluid into a series of microfuge tubes. The film cuts back to Frank Roberts who says he expects the workforce to grow rapidly and are currently recruiting individuals with scientific skills. In a laboratory a technician examines a thin layer of protein under a microscope.

General view of the exterior of a Job Centre. In the window a poster reads: 'Restart can set you on the path for the right job’.

Interviews with a number of young men and women in the street about the claim that Consett is on the road to recovery. No one interviewed agrees with this statement as there are only a small number of jobs in the town with many people chasing them.

The film cuts to John Casey who says there are signs that Consett in booming, companies here are much stronger than back in 1980. He believes that Derwentside is a beautiful place and will become desirable place to live in the future.

General views of a modern factory unit inside a small industrial estate.

The film ends on views of a group of teenagers hanging around in a street talking and laughing.