The County You Live, Work And Play

© 2016 All rights reserved. Made By Mike Wilson
© 2016 All rights reserved. Made By Mike Wilson

The County You Live, Work And Play

Firm Could Save Jobs


14/01/16


A new potential buyer has come forward for Tata Steel’s two mothballed plants in Lanarkshire.

The international metals firm, Liberty House, has made inquiries about taking over the Dalzell and Clydebridge works. In October, Tata announced 1,200 job losses across the UK - 270 of those at the Lanarkshire plants.


A possible deal with Greybull Capital emerged in December, but unions said this would not necessarily guarantee the future of the Scottish plants.

The company was said to be in talks to buy the Scunthorpe plant and the Scottish plants but steelworkers’ union Community claimed that Greybull’s business plan did not include Dalzell, where 225 jobs are being lost, and the Clydebridge plant where 45 jobs are going.

The union suggested that the Scottish plants should be sold off separately from Scunthorpe.

Public confirmation of the move by Liberty comes ahead of a meeting of the Scottish government’s steel taskforce later.


Business Minister Fergus Ewing said: “Liberty House has a proven track record in the UK steel industry and this is a welcome development in the quest to secure a sustainable future for Scottish steel.

“I met Liberty management last week to outline the full range of potential support that would be available from the Scottish government and Scottish Enterprise should it succeed in a buyout.

“I also emphasised that the Scottish Steel Task Force continues to work constructively to ensure a viable future for the plants, with action being taken forward on energy costs, business rates, procurement and on environmental issues.”

He added: “To help a new operator restart operations, the Scottish government has also invested £195,000 in a plan to keep key workers on standby to minimise the time the plants are mothballed and to safeguard full manufacturing capability.

“The Steel Task Force will meet this morning and reflect on this positive development.”

Labour MSP James Kelly, who is on the steel taskforce, and is MSP for Clydebridge, said: “My main priority is preserving jobs at Dalzell and Clydebridge and if selling them as a separate entity would achieve that, then that’s something I would support”.


Tata blamed the cuts on a flood of cheap imports from China, a strong pound and high electricity costs. The decision to close the two Tata plants in Scotland effectively ends production at the country’s last two major steelworks.

The Dalzell Steel and Iron Works opened in 1872, and Clydebridge in 1887.