South Yorkshire MPs welcome Sheffield Forgemasters nationalisation deal

Sheffield’s MPs have welcomed the news that Sheffield Forgemasters is set to be nationalised in a £2.56m government deal.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:26 pm

The Ministry of Defence stated yesterday (July 28) that up to £400m will be invested over the next ten years for the factory’s plant, equipment and infrastructure.

The Brightside based firm is a critical supplier to UK defence programmes, and is part of the supply chain for nuclear submarines.

The 215-year-old company has faced financial struggles, due to the pandemic’s role on commercial manufacturing and fierce competition from cheaper competitors.

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Several of Sheffield’s MPs have welcomed the take over, with Gill Furniss, Labour MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough which Forgemasters falls under, Tweeted that this is an “important investement.”

“This is the kind of investment and commitment I have long called for to protect Sheffield’s proud status as the city of steel.

“This is an important investment to secure specialist local jobs and an acknowledgement of Forgemasters key role in the defence industry.”

Clive Betts MP for Sheffield South East urged the MoD to “not make any jobcuts and continue the apprenticeship scheme”, adding that the buyout is “sorely needed.”

Louise Haigh MP.

“This cannot be just an immediate investment without the guarantee of jobs for the future,” added Mr Betts.

“If we are to have a prosperous Forgemasters we need to know that the jobs there will remain, and even increase if possible.

“Eleven years of cuts and lack of investment, and the de-industrialisation under Thatcher has crippled many industries that we need to rely on, not just for economic prosperity, but also national security.

“We cannot allow critical manufacturing like steel to be imported from abroad.

“This must be part of a serious and substantial industry plan for the country, and not a one-off knee-jerk reaction.”

Heeley’s MP Louise Haigh tweeted: “Great news for Forgemasters and Sheffield.

“This demonstrates how important public ownership and investment of our strategic industries is for jobs and the economy. Especially for cities with such rich manufacturing heritage like Sheffield.”

Miriam Cates, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge said that the takeover is “good news”, and she is in “regular coversations with ministers over the future of Liberty Steel in Stocksbridge.

“It’s good news that the Government has taken the decision to buy Forgemasters and provide it with the investment that it needs to continue operating,” Ms Cates added.

“The entire UK steel sector is vital for our national and economic security, and the special role Forgemasters has in supplying the Ministry of Defence has been recognised by the Government in taking this action.

“Unlike Forgemasters, Liberty Steel in Stocksbridge is not yet officially available for sale, and until it is the Government cannot take the same action to buy it.

“I am still having regular conversations with ministers about what support they can give to Liberty Steel when it is possible for them to do so, and I am clear that all options must be on the table going forward.”