Wednesday, May 3, 2017

News: Liberty House welcomed in Rotherham

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The announcement of investment and new jobs from the new owners of the speciality steel making sites in South Yorkshire has been welcomed.

An official handover took place this week after international industrials and metals group, Liberty House formally completed the £100m deal to acquire the Speciality Steels division of Tata Steel UK.

John Healey, who is standing again for the Wentworth & Dearne constituency which covers the Aldwarke plant, said: "It's great to see the sale go through. For the first time in years, Rotherham steelworkers and their families have some hope for the future.

"Liberty House has pledged the investment, jobs and marketing that can continue specialty steel's success. They're aiming for more jobs, fresh overseas markets, expansion of the Thrybergh bar mill and to boost steel-making in the main Rotherham plant.

"I will carry on working to back the new owners and the workforce, and keep on the Government's case about support for our UK steel industry. Liberty is backing British steel-making, and Government must now play its part on energy costs, business rates, skills funding and a strong buy-British bias in big Government projects."

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Sarah Champion who is bidding to remain the MP for Rotherham, added: "I am delighted and relieved that Liberty House recognises the potential of speciality steel in our region. The fact they are planning to expand operations and invest in more jobs proves their long-term commitment and is most welcome.

"Today's news is testimony to the years of campaigning and negotiations by workers, unions, local Labour MPs and Tata Steel.

"Going forward, we still have much to fight for to allow the steel industry to flourish. Two years after we got the Secretary of State for Business to attend our steel summit in Rotherham, the Government is no further on with resolving their high energy prices or unfair business rates - which means British steel can’t fight on a level playing field. We need free, but crucially, fair trade to markets such as the EU and USA, as well as being robust on anti-dumping from China and Russia.

"Our steel industry deserves more than warm words from Government. We need real action."

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the steelworkers' trade union, Community, said: "The completion of the sale will bring some welcome certainty to a workforce that has faced a tough time over recent months and years. It's testament to the skills and commitment of the steelworkers and the trade union leadership within the business that Liberty has taken on Speciality Steels and given it new hope. This also demonstrates that with the right vision there are opportunities for the UK steel industry to grow. We will continue to work closely with Liberty House in the coming months to ensure that their growth plans and investment deliver the new jobs and the sustainable future for the business that is promised.

"To support and guarantee the success of the business, all parties in the general election must demonstrate a commitment to a joined-up industrial strategy, which will create the environment where Speciality Steels and other steel businesses can thrive. That's why we will continue to speak up for steel communities and to campaign to Save our Steel."

Liberty House website

Images: Sarah Champion / twitter


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