Speaking after a meeting of the British Steel Support Group in Doncaster today, Labour and Co-operative MP for Redcar Anna Turley said:
“At today’s meeting there was unanimous agreement that this is a fantastic British company with growing market demand at home and abroad that can and must have a future in the UK. We know all too well from the experience of 2015 that swift action is crucial and a repeat of that appalling failure is something everyone is determined to avoid.
“The British Steel workforce and the products they make are world leading, and I want to thank all employees on Teesside and across the business for their hard work and perseverance through this challenging time. Your efforts are helping to demonstrate to potential buyers that this is a thriving company worth investing in.
“We are continuing to pursue every possible avenue to find a suitable buyer who is committed to the industry and its workforce, and the group will meet regularly until that is secured.
“Secretary of State Greg Clark has brought an open and inclusive style of working that we were desperately lacking in 2015 and I thank him for convening the group today.”
A copy of the full statement released by the Secretary of State following the meeting is copied below:
BUSINESS SECRETARY CHAIRS BRITISH STEEL SUPPORT GROUP AND VISITS COMPANY IN THE STEEL SUPPLY CHAIN
The British Steel Support Group met today, as part of ongoing work to help secure the long-term future of steel production at Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside.
Business Secretary Greg Clark chaired the meeting, which brought together representatives from British Steel, the Government, local MPs, trade bodies, trade unions, as well as local leaders and the Local Enterprise Partnerships.
The group reaffirmed its commitment to British Steel, and its ongoing efforts to leave no stone unturned to support the Official Receiver in finding a suitable buyer.
At the meeting, it was also agreed that there would be a sub-group formed of suppliers and customers, led by Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of Make UK, which will focus on companies in British Steel’s customer and supply chain.
Members of the group praised the commitment of British Steel’s workforce who continue to reach record levels of steel production, despite the challenging time that workers currently face.
Following the meeting the Business Secretary, accompanied by Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of Make UK and Gareth Stace, Director at UK Steel, visited Bridon Bekaert in Doncaster, a major customer of British Steel to discuss the role British Steel plays as a key customer. The wire rope producer demonstrated how it takes steel rods produced at British Steel’s Scunthorpe site, which the Business Secretary saw being produced on his recent visit to the site’s Rod Mill, and turns them into specialist wire ropes, used the world over.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said:
“Having worked with British Steel, and visited and met with management and staff at Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside, I wanted to convene the British Steel Support Group to harness the passion and experience of everyone in the group to help secure the future of steelmaking at these sites.
“Our first priority is to continue to support the Official Receiver through the sale process as he aims to find a suitable buyer for the company, and to safeguard jobs. We have agreed to meet on a regular basis as part of that endeavour.
“We also send our thanks and appreciation to British Steel’s highly skilled and talented workforce who, despite facing an understandably worrying time, have continued to lead the company to record levels of steel production – testament to their commitment and hard work.
“The world will always need steel and British Steel is amongst the best in the world; this was clearly demonstrated in my visit to Bridon Bekaert, where British Steel is used to manufacture the highest quality product which is then exported across the world.
“Our support group brings together representatives from the company and wider industry, trade unions and local leaders, and each and every one of us is steadfast in our commitment to seeing steel production continue well into the future.”
Members of the British Steel Support Group are:
- Greg Clark MP – Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
- Lord Christopher Haskins – Chair, Humber Local Enterprise Partnership
- Anna Turley MP – Labour MP for Redcar
- Simon Clarke MP – Conservative MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland
- Nic Dakin MP – Labour MP for Scunthorpe
- Andrew Percy MP – Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole
- Ben Houchen – Metro Mayor for the Tees Valley
- Gerald Reichmann – Chief Executive at British Steel
- Gareth Stace – Director at UK Steel
- Stephen Phipson – Chief Executive at Make UK
- Roy Rickhuss – General Secretary, Community Union
- Paul McBean – Community Union representative
- Martin Foster – Unite the Union representative
- Paul Booth OBE – Chairman, Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership
- Cllr Rob Waltham MBE – Leader, North Lincolnshire Council
- Simon Green – Deputy Chief Executive at North Lincolnshire Council