Tyne & Wear

MP demands Alcan 'buyer' details

An MP has urged the company behind the closure of a smelting plant to reveal details of businesses who had shown an interest in buying the firm.

Rio Tinto announced it will close the aluminium plant in Lynemouth, with the loss of more than 500 jobs.

Wansbeck Labour MP Ian Lavery said interested parties deemed "non credible" by Rio Tinto Alcan should be identified.

He said he hoped to revive interest in the plant and find a buyer.

Rio Tinto made the decision to close the plant in Lynemouth on Wednesday, after it failed to find a buyer for the smelting plant which it described as "no longer a sustainable business".

Mr Lavery said: "What the unions and myself are wanting to know is who are these 'non-credible' organisations?

"If we can speak to those, if we can get financial assistance from the government which has been promised, speak to the people who may be interested, give them the views of the government, who knows, we could come up with some sort of package which would and sustain and maintain jobs here."

Unions say they are "bewildered" by the decision to close the plant as it brings an estimated £60m contribution to Northumberland's economy.

The company is to hold a 90-day consultation on the closure plan, and will hold discussions about selling the power station at the site, where a further 111 people are employed.

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