Steel industry

  1. Sheffield Forgemasters plans to cut 95 jobs amid pandemic

    Steel company Sheffield Forgemasters says it plans to axe 95 jobs as the Covid-19 pandemic hits global markets.

    Sheffield Forgemasters

    The 200-year-old company said cuts to the 708-strong workforce were an "unavoidable necessity" but it remained optimistic about its long-term future.

    The job reductions were the result of reduced demand in the current economic climate, bosses said.

    The firm said it hoped the losses could be reduced through voluntary redundancy or internal redeployment.

  2. Steel production capacity increase for South Yorkshire factories

    Steel manufacturers in South Yorkshire have said they’re aiming to double production capacity at a plant in Rotherham.

    Liberty Steel sign

    Liberty Steel Group UK is to begin producing steel reinforcing bars for major infrastructure projects - including the HS2 rail line - from September.

    It now hopes to boost production to one million tonnes a year, plugging a gap in demand in the UK market, it said.

    It had previously warned that almost 300 jobs would go at plants in South Yorkshire because of "challenging" market conditions, but most of these were at their Stocksbridge plant, with 17 in Rotherham.

    Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman at Livery Steel Group, said: "As we make plans for a post-pandemic economy, we have challenged ourselves to think differently across our product mix, assets and cost base to improve competitiveness and prepare for a new future."

    Reacting to the news, Labour’s Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said it was "good to hear the firm is committed to the town".

    Steel plant in Rotherham
  3. Steel takeover backed by union as jobs saved

    BBC Radio Tees

    Unions have been giving their reaction to the deal by Chinese firm Jingye Group to buy British Steel.

    The takeover will save more than 3,000 jobs on Teesside and in Scunthorpe, although about 450 people still face the axe.

    Alun Davies, national organiser for the Community Union which represents steelworkers, said: "We're just glad to see some stability at the plants and the majority of employees are now safe and have got some structure to their lives.

    "They've been on hold for the last 10 months. We just want the steel industry in the UK to be successful."

    Jingye Group has promised to invest about £1.2bn over the next 10 years on upgrading its plants and machinery.

    A steelworker
  4. Mayor refuses to say how much Redcar SSI site has cost

    Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has refused to say how much public money has been used to purchase the former SSI site in Redcar.

    Citing commercial sensitivities, Mr Houchen said people "would be happy" with the amount if it came out.

    He told BBC Radio Tees: "I can't say, subject to a legal agreement [that is] commercially sensitive, but there are numbers that are flying about that I would suggest are relatively accurate.

    "If the numbers come to light, which they probably will in the future, people will be more than happy with the amount that's been agreed."

    Ben Houchen
  5. Mayor says SSI deal 'almost broke me'

    Sealing a deal to secure the former Redcar SSI site "almost broke me", the Tees Valley mayor has told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

    Ben Houchen said: "Now we've put the building blocks in place we can get on a deliver the jobs and investment this site needs.

    "That means more jobs for local people, and more money in people's pockets, which is actually what people care about, and this deal today delivers just that.

    "It's been tremendously difficult, it's one of the most difficult things I've ever dealt with in my life, it almost broke me yesterday when things were hanging in the balance, it was really really difficult.

    "There's a huge amount of thanks that needs to go to the development corporation board, my officials have sat in my office until 01:00 trying to negotiate with solicitors, banks and SSI, there's a huge team behind this.

    "It just goes to show that when Teesside pulls together, we can get this over the line."

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  6. Deal to secure SSI site 'includes steel-making pledge'

    A deal to bring the former Redcar SSI area under the control of the South Tees Development Corporation includes a commitment to bring steel-making back to the site by 2023, the body says.

    A statement from Mayor Ben Houchen's office said the agreement with the Thai banks "includes a plan to develop a state-of-the-art Electric Arc Furnace on the Lackenby site within three years".

    The move to put 840 acres of the site under control of the STDC was unanimously backed by board members this morning.

    Win Viriyaprapakit, CEO of SSI, said: “Over the last three weeks, we have been in intensive talks with Mayor Houchen and his team to deliver a solution that works for everyone involved, and I am pleased a deal has now been done.

    "I am also grateful for the Thai banks’ support and their good intentions for this regeneration of this region.

    "Now that an agreement has been agreed, the door is open for Mayor Houchen to secure the investment into the site, so that regeneration can begin and good quality, well paid jobs created."

    Mr Houchen previously toured the site with new Chancellor Rishi Sunak:

    Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Chancellor Rishi Sunak on former SSI steelworks land
  7. BreakingDeal agreed to secure former Redcar SSI site

    A deal has been agreed to buy the former SSI steelworks in Redcar, in a move that could kickstart the regeneration of the site.

    The 840 acres of land owned by SSI UK, along with all other assets, will be bought by the South Tees Development Corporation.

    As part of the agreement SSI will not fight a compulsory purchase order, but the process will continue so that smaller parcels of land can be brought under the control of the STDC.

    Ninety jobs have also been saved at Redcar Bulk Terminal, which will continue to operate as normal.

    SSI site

    Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said:

    Quote Message: I am delighted that today we have reached an agreement with SSI to take back control of the site of the former Redcar steelworks.
    Quote Message: Thanks to the agreement we have reached, we can move forward in breathing new life into an area that was devastated following the steelworks' closure in 2015. With the potential to create more than 20,000 jobs over the next two decades, today really marks the beginning of a new era.
    Quote Message: I am grateful to the representatives of SSI, and everyone involved in the negotiations, who have worked so hard over recent days to be able to get this over the line.
    Quote Message: The journey to this point has not always been an easy or straight forward one, but through the hard work, dedication and commitment of all involved I am pleased we have been able to reach an agreement that works for all parties."