Tata Steel Scunthorpe plant given SNCF rail order boost

Tata Steel Scunthorpe Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Scunthorpe's steelworks has dominated the town's skyline for 150 years

Tata Steel has signed a five-year deal with French rail network SNCF to supply steel from its troubled Scunthorpe plant.

The Indian company said it had renewed its contract "with an extension option for a further four years".

Steel from its North Lincoln Road plant will continue to be shipped to its mill in France for rail tracks to be produced for the state-owned operator.

In October, the firm announced the loss of 900 jobs from the same factory.

A 45-day consultation period with affected workers ends this week.

The industry blames cheap Chinese imports for a collapse in steel prices.

Tata has been supplying steel and producing up to 108-metre lengths of rail to SNCF since 1999.

It is among the French network's four suppliers with Tata delivering the bulk of SNCF's 750,000-tonne requirement.

Minister for Small Business Anna Soubry previously said during a visit to the plant in October that she was "determined" to make sure steel continued to be manufactured in Scunthorpe.

The company pledged £3m to help create jobs in the town, with another £6m provided by the government.

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