Announcement expected at task force meeting
An announcement is set to be made today, Wednesday, on the future of the Clydebridge steelworks in Cambuslang.
The Reformer understands a deal has been struck to sell the plant to Liberty.
But unions are believed to be urging caution on the deal.
An announcement on the future of the 128-year-old Clydebridge steelworks is expected to be made today, Wednesday.
Hopes are high that steel production at the plant will be secured. However, trade union Community are understood to be urging caution on any announcement until more details are revealed.
Reports on Sunday suggested a deal had been struck with international metals firm Liberty House for the Cambuslang plant, as well as the Dalzell plant in Motherwell.
And earlier this week it was reported the Scottish Government were working at “breakneck speed” to clinch the deal before parliament dissolves.
Sticking points are thought to be what guarantees the Scottish government can offer without breaching EU rules on state aid.
The Reformer understands this will be confirmed by the Scottish Government at a task force meeting in Hamilton at 3pm today.
A source close to the deal told us: “We are expecting an announcement tomorrow at the task force meeting confirming that Liberty will take ownership of both Dalzell and Clydebridge.
“However, despite the Scottish Government’s desire to spin it as ‘industry saved, job done’ we actually are yet to be told exactly what a new business will look like in terms of jobs or steel making capacity.”
Tata steel announced they were pulling the plug on the Clydebridge plant in October last year, with the loss of 45 jobs.
The plant was mothballed in December. Since then the Scottish Government announced a £195,000 package to retain key staff and also revealed a new buyer would benefit from lower business rates.
It is unclear if staff who lost their jobs would be taken back on.
Rutherglen MSP James Kelly said yesterday: “I sincerely hope there is an announcement of a formal takeover of Clydebridge and Dalzell. If a takeover is confirmed, it’s important that business plans are in place. We need this plant up and running as soon as possible with real workers doing real jobs, producing steel.
“That’s what workers want and what the people of Rutherglen and Cambuslang want.”
Margaret Ferrier MP said she couldn’t comment on the imminent announcement.
She had previously said: “I’ve remained confident throughout the process that an alternative operator could be secured to protect this vital industry. The Scottish Government are to be commended for their efforts to save Scottish steel, and I am optimistic that the hard work dedicated to saving this vital industry will be fruitful.”
The Clydebridge plant was opened in 1887.
Talks The Scottish steel task force, led by business minister Fergus Ewing, is meeting in Hamilton