Created: 05 November 2019
Andrew has provided the following update on British Steel:
Andrew said, "I was at the steel works last Friday with other local leaders for a meeting with one of the potential new owners of British Steel. As residents will remember there is considerable interest in purchasing the site, but so far the two most advanced bids are from a Turkish company and from Jingye Group. We met with Jingye last week to talk through their plans and vision for the site. Jingye are a major steel producer and, like many residents, my first question was how can we be assured that if they take over British Steel, they will remain committed to the site.
"What was very reassuring was how Chairman Li of the Jingye Group explained to us that they do not produce any of the products that are produced at Scunthorpe so there would be no question of conflict within the group if they bought the business. Moreover, he outlined to us the company's vision for significant investment in the site with the aim of increasing production. He also made clear that the focus of the business would remain the UK and European markets which again demonstrates how important it is for local jobs that we try and leave the EU on a deal and secure a long-term free trade deal post-Brexit.
"Proving how much potential there is for British Steel, we received good news this week that Scunthorpe has now been invited to formally tender to be one of the Logistics Construction Hubs for the Heathrow expansion. This is great news and takes us one step closer to securing this important work for our area.
"Later today the Steel Support Group will be holding another one of our regular update sessions with the Secretary of State. The Government continues to provide the guarantees to pay wages at the site but we are coming to the point of decision on these potential bidders.
"The Government has made clear that it stands ready to provide substantial support to any purchaser. Whether the site is bought by a new company or whether it was bought by the Government, the same EU and UK state aid and competition rules will apply meaning that any investment has to be made on a commercial basis. Bringing in an outside investor with substantial resources to invest is one of the best ways to ensure that commercial element is achieved.
"As ever, we will all continue to work together to secure this site and to support local jobs. Whatever political differences we have at a national level, we speak with one voice locally when it comes to British Steel."