PM Urged To Support Scunthorpe’s Steelworks
The Prime Minister Theresa May was questioned about the government’s support of a steelworks site in Scunthorpe after British Steel, which runs the plant, recently went into liquidation.
Earlier this week, South Yorkshire MP Caroline Flint put May in the difficult position of having to confirm or deny whether the site will continue operating if no buyer steps forward to save the business, ITV reported.
The Insolvency Service, which is currently funding its operations, has given the deadline of June 30th for potential buyers to make an offer for British Steel.
However, with the date fast approaching, many of its 4,500-strong staff in Scunthorpe are worrying whether they will have a job to return to next month.
May reassured employees the government is trying to protect the site by talking with MPs whose constituency will be most affected by its closure.
Despite this, the Guardian revealed the frontrunner to buy the site – Liberty House – was deterred from the investment due to a lack of support from the government.
Its plans involve converting its blast furnaces into electric arc furnaces that recycle steel instead of making it from scratch. As this would require a huge initial investment in the “low hundreds of millions”, it wants reassurance of loan guarantees from the government first.
However, the news provider reported a “lack of enthusiasm” from the government about this funding, even if it risks thousands of people losing their jobs if no buyer surfaces before the weekend.
Shadow minister for steel Gill Furniss was quoted as saying: “The government must urgently ensure all necessary support is available to a potential buyer – a long-term solution must be found as quickly as possible.”
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