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Deal safeguards 4,000 Scunthorpe Tata steel jobs

Steel plant in Scunthorpe Image copyright AFP
Image caption Workers are being asked to accept cuts to pay and pension contributions as part of the deal

A deal has been signed to safeguard more than 4,000 jobs at Tata's steelworks at Scunthorpe.

Greybull Capital, a UK-based investment firm, is to plough up to £400m into the plant - but workers must accept a pay cut and smaller pension contributions.

Steelworker Charlotte Upton said the deal meant "job security for me so I can stay where my family is, near my home".

"It means I can continue to be a steelworker, I love my job."

Image caption Charlotte Upton says the deal will allow her and her colleagues to stay close to their families

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Karen Hope-Dilley, who runs Grange Lane Café, just down the road from the plant, said: "It's Scunthorpe's living and Scunthorpe relies on the steelworks now.

"Hopefully this is going to be positive."

"Steel is the lifeblood of the community round here, without steel there's nothing here", said one steelworker going into the plant.

Analysis: Sarah Corker, Business Correspondent BBC Look North

Image caption Sarah Corker said the news "was huge for Scunthorpe"

The news is huge for Scunthorpe after months of job losses, finally steelworkers have something to smile about.

The plant employs 4,000 people but supports another 30,000 jobs in the wider economy.

Now the Tata signs are to come down to be replaced by something familiar - British Steel.

Paul McBean, lead representative in Scunthorpe of the union Community, said: "We didn't want to be in this situation at all. We wanted to carry on making the best steel in the world.

"We've had to make changes to give us a future, to give our town a future."

Image caption Paul McBean of Community said: "This is the type of sacrifice we've had to do."

Unions at Tata's Long Products Europe, which will be renamed British Steel as part of the deal, still have to vote to accept reduced pay and pension arrangements. The ballot closes on 19 April.

The plant makes steel for the rail and construction sectors.

"To save this business this is the type of sacrifice we've had to do", said Mr McBean.

'The future is bright'

Liz Redfern, the Conservative leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "It's a fantastic day everybody is so excited, I'm thrilled after nearly seven months of uncertainty.

"People are smiling, waving, being optimistic.

"We've got a great workforce, everybody wants to work together. I think it will go form strength to strength."

Martin Foster, Scunthorpe convenor of the Unite union, said: "The future is bright and it's going to be British Steel, which is brilliant. We're hoping to see further investment to make us more efficient and I'm sure that will come."

Greybull describes itself as "a family office which makes long-term investments in private companies".

The London-based investment firm is run by financiers Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas and Richard Perlhagen.

The Scunthorpe steelworks is a key part of Tata Steel's long products division, which was put up for sale in 2014.

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