British Steel sale completes
3,200 jobs in Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside have been safeguarded by the completion of a deal to sell British Steel to Chinese steelmaker, Jingye Group.
The sale follows discussions between the Government, the Official Receiver, special managers, unions, suppliers and employees.
As part of the deal, Jingye Group has pledged to invest £1.2bn over 10 years to modernise British Steel sites and boost energy efficiency. But a total of 449 jobs will still be cut.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The sounds of these steelworks have long echoed throughout Yorkshire and Humber and the North East.
“As British Steel takes its next steps under Jingye’s leadership, we can be sure these will ring out for decades to come.
“I’d like to thank every British Steel employee in Scunthorpe, Skinningrove and on Teesside for their dedication and resilience which has kept the business thriving over the past year.
“Jingye’s pledge to invest £1.2bn into the business is a welcome boost that will not just secure thousands of jobs, but ensure British Steel continues to prosper.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The sale of British Steel represents an important vote of confidence in the UK’s steel industry. It also marks the start of a new era for those regions that have built their livelihoods around industrial steel production.
“I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has been involved in getting this deal over the line, in particular to British Steel’s workforce for whom I recognise the uncertainty will have been challenging.
“I also want to reassure British Steel employees who may be facing redundancy that we are mobilising all available resources to give immediate on the ground support and advice to those affected.
British Steel entered into an insolvency process in May 2019 and following negotiations, the Official Receiver and Special Managers from Ernst & Young (EY) have confirmed the complete sale of British Steel to Jingye Group – including the steelworks at Scunthorpe, mills at Skinningrove and on Teesside – as well as subsidiary businesses TSP Engineering and FN Steel.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ trade union Community, said: “Today marks the start of a new chapter for British Steel.
“It has been a long and difficult journey to get to this point. In particular, this acquisition is a testament to all the efforts of the world class workforce, who even through the uncertainty, have broken production records.
“Today would also not have been possible without the Government recognising the importance of steel as a key foundation industry.
“The decision to support the business through to new ownership is an example of positive industrial strategy at work.
“We look forward to working with Jingye as they bring forward their investment plans, which have the potential to transform the business and secure a sustainable future.”
The Government says its Rapid Response Service and National Careers Service will provide on the ground support and advice to the 449 employees facing redundancy.
This service will help those affected move into other employment or undertake training.
The Government adds that it is continuing to provide support to the steel industry – including more than £300m worth of relief for electricity costs, public procurement guidelines and details of a steel pipeline on national infrastructure projects worth around £500m over the next decade.