Beginning of a new era for Scottish steel
The formal handover of the Clydesmill steel works to Liberty House has been hailed as the “start of a new beginning” for the Scottish steel industry.
International steel firm Liberty formally took over ownership of the plant, along with a site at Dalzell in Motherwell, at a ceremony last Friday, April 8.
Executive chair of Liberty House, Sanjeev Gupta, confirmed they hoped to create 150 jobs across both sites to get them up and running again.
Among those who welcomed the move was Margaret Ferrier MP, who attended the ceremony, and trade union, Community who had previously called for more detail of Liberty’s plans for the plants.
Ms Ferrier said: “The is the beginning not just of a new era for Scottish steel, but a new era that builds on the vast experience and high skillset of the workforce at Dalzell and Clydebridge.
“Over the course of eight taskforce meetings and a lot of other engagement we made significant progress in five key areas to support the industry, namely business rates, energy costs, environmental issues, skills and procurement.
“It has been a team effort which has paid off and once again the steelworkers of Scotland will produce world class products from here in Lanarkshire.”
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the steelworkers’ union Community, also welcomed the news, but said the work of the Scottish steel task force should continue.
He said: “This is testament to the vision of Liberty Steel and the hard work and collective will of everyone involved in the steel task force, especially Community’s local reps. Community looks forward to working with Liberty Steel as jobs and production are brought back. We made it clear that the skilled workforce at Dalzell and Clydebridge deserved a future in steel and today’s news means that we are nearer to seeing that happen.
“Today is just the beginning of a new era for these steel mills. To help them and Scotland’s other steel producers be successful the work of the Scottish Government’s task force should continue.
“The next Scottish Government needs to implement an industrial and procurement strategy that enables Scottish steel to recover and then grow as part of an integrated UK steel industry.”
It remains unclear how many of the 150 jobs will be in Cambuslang or if workers made redundant by previous owners, Tata, will be re-employed.
Mr Gupta said: “This is our first step in Scotland, based on our experience so far we are confident we can build on this positive relationship, leading us to further opportunities and investments that will benefit the Scottish economy.”
Handover Margaret Ferrier MP (second left) with Marion Fellows MP, Nicola Sturgeon and Clare Adamson, at the handover ceremony