New minister tours up-for-sale Tata site in Sheffield

New business minister Nick Hurd toured the Tata Steel site in Stocksbridge - as bosses decide who to sell the business to.

Friday, 12th August 2016, 3:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 8:36 pm
Industry minister Nick Hurd, left, is shown a VAR remelting furnace at Tata Steels in Stocksbridge

The Conservative MP for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner met operations staff and senior management and was briefed on where the company is in the sale of its Speciality Steels division.

Bosses are mulling bids after a deadline passed last month.

Business and Energy Minister Nick Hurd said: “This Government wants to see a sustainable, viable steel industry in the UK. So I was very pleased to have a chance to visit the Tata Speciality Steels business in Stocksbridge.

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Industry minister Nick Hurd, left, at Tata Steels in Stocksbridge

“Tata is an important employer making important products. Not only is it a site with a lot of history, I was very impressed by what is being done to secure a sustainable, long-term future.”

Earlier this year Tata put its entire loss-making UK operations up for sale. The process was paused after the government offered financial assistance and a rise in steel prices.

The sale of Speciality Steels is going ahead separately. A government spokesman confirmed it would not receive assistance and would be on a “wholly commercial” basis.

A Tata spokesman said: “We were delighted to host Mr Hurd. It’s important to maintain relationships and good to meet new ministers and show them how important we are to the country’s manufacturing base.”

Industry minister Nick Hurd, left, at Tata Steels in Stocksbridge

The division employs 1,800 including 860 in Stocksbridge and 750 at Thrybergh and 110 in Brinsworth, in Rotherham.

Some 70 per cent of business is export, half into Europe, on turnover of £300m. It makes niche products for the aerospace, automotive and oil and gas industries.New