Steel summit help pledge

Gareth Stace
Gareth Stace
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Steel bosses have given a cautious welcome to government promises to support the crisis-hit industry, following a top level summit in Rotherham.

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, said secretary of state Sajid Javid had “committed” to support a compensation package for energy intensive industries and to ensure state aid approval was obtained “as soon as possible.”

He added: “They have listened and promised to take action.

“While it may have been too much to expect immediate decisions, we are cautiously optimistic that the urgent recommendations we have made – from compensation to cutting the cost of energy to tackling unfair dumping of steel by China – are all now at the top of the Secretary of State’s to-do list.

“But, I cannot emphasise enough that there is an urgency here and very little time before we start to see more job losses and companies facing intolerable pressure.

“This really is about saving Britain’s steel industry and time is of the essence.”

In July, Tata Steel announced 550 South Yorkshire jobs were at risk, some 485 on the Thrybergh site in Rotherham.

The company says it is still consulting on redundancies stemming from the planned closure of its black bar business.

Last month SSI’s Redcar plant closed with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

UPDATE: Tata Steel is expected to announce it will cut 1,200 UK jobs next week.

The firm employs about 17,000 people in the UK and has a site in Rotherham and one in Stocksbridge.

Cuts are expected to come in Scunthorpe and Scotland.