In 2015 after 98 years of production, Redcar steelworks cooled down its furnaces for the last time. Workers hung up their hard hats and left the site both uncertain of their own future, as well as the steel powerhouse that Teesside had become well known for for generations. Unemployment in the area rose, yet through the years a strong sense of community remained within the streets and foundations of this once bustling industrial town. Some families left in search of work, others remained keeping themselves connected to this close knit community in the hope that change will come. That they won’t be forgotten.

Fast forward to today, Teesside is seeing the change so many have longed for. Investment has begun in the area. Offshore wind farms have been built and with the public announcement of a bid for a new green hydrogen and blue hydrogen plant, the biggest of their kind in the UK, the future is looking bright. With new plants brings the promise of new jobs for those who were suddenly struck off and thrown into the uncertainty of what the future holds. But what do those who have lived and breathed the changes in Teesside think?

In 2022, I went to Teesside to document this community that stood in the depths of uncertainty. Spending time with those who have witnessed the change in the town through hardship and hope. To the new families and young people who want to make the new investment in Teesside work for them and their futures. What I found was a community deeply connected through the challenges of the past and people that embrace the changes needed in order to bring Teesside back to its former days of being a world renowned industrial working community.

Generations is a series which explores Teesside before this transformative change to the landscape and lives in the area. Over the next 10 years I plan to go back and explore how these greener ways of creating energy have changed both the community and dreams of the future.

Alex Ingram Photography, Portrait of a teenage girl sat on the grass outside MOMA in Middlesbrough, Teesside.
Photographer Alex Ingram takes a portrait of a construction worker wearing a high vis jacket outside the Redcar Steelwork in Teesside as part of his project 'Generations'.
A landscape photograph of the steelworks at Redcar photographed by Alex Ingram as part of his project 'Generations'.
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