Be­gin­ning of a new era for Scot­tish steel

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

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

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