'Expressions of interest' to buy Thamesteel

More than 20 "expressions of interest" to buy the Kent company Thamesteel have been made, according to its administrators.

The steel firm in Sheerness went into administration last week, putting 350 people out of work.

Administrators Mazars said it was extremely keen to sell on Thamesteel as a going concern.

Kent MP Gordon Henderson said a takeover must happen quickly before Thamesteel workers found new jobs.

Rod Weston, from Mazars, said: "To date we've have over 20 expressions of interest from people, some who want to try and start the place up again as a going concern and some who may only want part of the business.

"We've got a great business here, we've got a great product and a great workforce.

"I'd be very keen to see if we can start steel making again in Sheerness."

Mr Weston added it was too early to give a timescale to Thamesteel's future.

Gordon Henderson, the Conservative MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, said: "I very much hope that somebody will be found to buy the plant.

"It's got to happen quickly because the other thing we are busy doing is lining up interviews for people with other companies who want to take these workers on.

"While that's good news for them, it's bad news for us and our community and our immediate area because we will lose those skills."

'Political manoeuvring'

The Labour MP for Harrow West, Gareth Thomas, has called on the government to do more to help find a buyer.

Mr Thomas, a former business minister, has tabled a Commons motion, calling on the Business Secretary Vince Cable to meet a delegation of workers and union officials.

Mr Henderson said the motion was unnecessary.

He said: "I would sooner use my time more profitably by actually doing something rather than political manoeuvring."

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