Skip to content
Northern Powerhouse European Union

Industry welcomes British Steel rescue

Chinese firm Jingye has stepped in to save troubled British Steel in a deal that represents a significant boost to a range of manufacturing sectors.

Sign-up for the Made for Manufacturing newsletter

The new deal to rescue British Steel could safeguard the 2,000 jobs at risk in the North West, and the 32,000 jobs across the UK.

The Manufacturing Network

The Manufacturing Network

Promote your business and access exclusive resources

British Steel runs the Scunthorpe steelworks - one of the UK’s only two remaining blast furnace works - as well as other production sites in Teeside, making up around a third of the UK’s steel industry.

Following a lengthy period of difficult trading, the company ran aground in May and entered into compulsory liquidation, putting around 4,000 direct jobs at risk.

Steel remains a vital ingredient for UK industry, especially in manufacturing sectors such as automotive, construction, aerospace and fabricated metals, so the potential closure of British Steel is considered a significant threat to the wider economy.

According to trade association UK Steel, nearly 32,000 people are employed directly in the steel industry - around 2,000 people of whom are based in the North West. The industry also indirectly supports more than 52,000 further jobs in the supply chain.

Pending government approval, little-known Chinese steel firm Jingye has now agreed to purchase British Steel, promising to protect existing jobs and invest £1.2 billion over the next decade to upgrade plant and machinery.

Gareth Stace, UK Steel Director General, commented:

“British Steel’s production facilities in Scunthorpe and elsewhere in the North East represent one third of the UK’s steel production and are a major strategic asset to our country; their loss would leave our manufacturing, construction and infrastructure capability in a considerably poorer state.

“Today’s announcement is a huge hurdle overcome on the way to delivering a sustainable future for this cornerstone of British industry. However, we must not lose sight of the longer term picture for the whole steel sector. It is vital we move on from the current reactive approach, to one in which a shared, long-term strategic vision sits front and centre.”

UK Steel has published a ‘UK Steel Manifesto’ setting out how the industry can move to a more sustainable position over the long-term. Earlier this year, the trade association also published a ‘UK Steel Charter’ which was signed by the government and several other major organisations, committing them to maximising the amount of home-produced steel used in the UK.

For the latest industry news, views and trends...

Sign up for the Made for Manufacturing newsletter

The latest manufacturing news

Liverpool’s Sensor City launches guide to IoT

Picture of Liverpool’s Sensor City launches guide to IoT

Sensor City, a global hub for the development of sensor technology, has launched a new guide offering manufacturers practical advice on how to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) technology. 

Read more

Companies want to buy more British goods

Picture of Companies want to buy more British goods

A poll of purchasing and procurement decision makers has found that businesses are more willing to buy British manufactured goods than consumers, but often struggle to identify British products. 

Read more

Experts publish currency guidance for manufacturers

Picture of Experts publish currency guidance for manufacturers

Uncertainties around Brexit, the US-China trade war and other market fluctuations are making it difficult for manufacturers to set prices with overseas partners, but three key steps can aid planning. 

Read more

Third of workers feel undervalued

Picture of Third of workers feel undervalued

New research has revealed that one in three employees in SMEs do not feel valued by their employer, with financial incentives and flexible working benefits high on the wish-list. 

Read more

Firms advised to benchmark productivity

Picture of Firms advised to benchmark productivity

A government review into business productivity has urged firms to benchmark their performance against competitors using a new online tool from Be the Business. 

Read more

Share this post