Council leader welcomes the “positive” sale of Sheffield Forgemasters
The sale of Sheffield Forgemasters to the Ministry of Defence is “without doubt a positive move”, says the Leader of Sheffield Council.
The heavy engineering firm has agreed to sell its entire share capital in a £2.58m deal to secure its future.
The MoD will invest up to £400m for critical upgrades to the factory’s plan, equipment and infrastructure so it can support defence outputs.
Council Leader Terry Fox welcomed the news. “It’s without doubt a positive move for Sheffield Forgemasters and for the city.
“Sheffield Forgemasters is a massive player in this industry and it’s right that the Government is recognising its importance nationally and the need for significant investment.
“We’ve got world leading expertise right here in Sheffield – we’ve got steel running through our veins.”
Coun Fox urged the Government not to forget Liberty Steel which employs 600 people and is still looking for a buyer for its factory at Stocksbridge.
Liberty Steel has appointed a new UK chief executive as the business tries to refinance its debts after its main lender collapsed.
Coun Fox added: “Sheffield Forgemasters needs to be the first step of many, we can’t forget the challenge Liberty Steel is going through right on our doorstep.
“We’ve already called on the Government to take action and we need clarity now on how they will put Sheffield first.”
Trade union Unite said it had been engaged in a long battle with the MoD and the Government to protect UK steel supply to defence and nuclear programmes.