Tory MP calls on government to support Stocksbridge steel business until buyer is found

Stocksbridge MP Miriam Cates has called on government to support the town’s steel business until a buyer can be found.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 1:31 pm

The Conservative MP said she had asked government to intervene to ensure steelmaking could continue and she believed passionately there was a strong future for steelmaking in Stocksbridge

She spoke out after cash-strapped Liberty Steel announced plans to sell the 750-strong business stating it was ’not core to the Greensteel vision’ of melting scrap.

Stocksbridge produces aerospace and special alloys and has been hard hit by the pandemic which has grounded aircraft and led to the cancellation of orders.

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Miriam Cates, Conservative MP for Stocksbridge.

Ms Cates said: “This morning I have been informed that Stockbridge Speciality Steels is to be put up for sale by the Liberty Steel Group.

“Following the recent financial difficulties of the GFG Alliance, which owns Liberty Steel, Liberty owners have been negotiating with creditors to try to re-finance the business.

“Liberty have reached an agreement with their main creditors, but this involves the sale of Stocksbridge, Brinsworth, and West Bromwich plants.

“This is clearly an anxious time for steelmakers in Stocksbridge, their families, and our community, and I will be available to talk to steelworkers and union reps at the plant this week.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.

“I believe passionately that there is a strong future for steelmaking in Stocksbridge, and I will do everything I can to work with the Government and Liberty to find the right buyer.

“I have today written to Secretary of State for Business Kwasi Kwarteng, urging him to intervene to help find a suitable buyer for the site. I have also asked that the Government consider providing financial assistance if necessary to make sure that steelmaking can continue until a buyer is found.

“Stocksbridge Speciality Steels has unique capabilities that are of strategic importance to the whole of the UK. As the local Member of Parliament I will continue to make the case to Government to secure the future of UK steel.”

A Liberty spokesman said they made progress on refinancing and restructuring but would now look to sell its aerospace and special alloys steel business in Stocksbridge.

Liberty Speciality Steels, Stocksbridge. Picture: Chris Etchells

He added: “While being a unique, high quality business servicing marquee customers in aerospace, auto and other highly engineered applications, is not core to the Greensteel vision of Liberty.”

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.