Steel industry

Steel production capacity increase for South Yorkshire factories

Steel manufacturers in South Yorkshire have said they’re aiming to double production capacity at a plant in Rotherham.

Liberty Steel sign

Liberty Steel Group UK is to begin producing steel reinforcing bars for major infrastructure projects - including the HS2 rail line - from September.

It now hopes to boost production to one million tonnes a year, plugging a gap in demand in the UK market, it said.

It had previously warned that almost 300 jobs would go at plants in South Yorkshire because of "challenging" market conditions, but most of these were at their Stocksbridge plant, with 17 in Rotherham.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman at Livery Steel Group, said: "As we make plans for a post-pandemic economy, we have challenged ourselves to think differently across our product mix, assets and cost base to improve competitiveness and prepare for a new future."

Reacting to the news, Labour’s Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said it was "good to hear the firm is committed to the town".

Steel plant in Rotherham
Peter Byrne/PA Media

Steel takeover backed by union as jobs saved

BBC Radio Tees

Unions have been giving their reaction to the deal by Chinese firm Jingye Group to buy British Steel.

The takeover will save more than 3,000 jobs on Teesside and in Scunthorpe, although about 450 people still face the axe.

Alun Davies, national organiser for the Community Union which represents steelworkers, said: "We're just glad to see some stability at the plants and the majority of employees are now safe and have got some structure to their lives.

"They've been on hold for the last 10 months. We just want the steel industry in the UK to be successful."

Jingye Group has promised to invest about £1.2bn over the next 10 years on upgrading its plants and machinery.

A steelworker
Steve Morgan/British Steel