UK steel - playing a central role in Britain's post COVID recovery
The UK steel industry, including Liberty in Stocksbridge, has faced tough global conditions over the past years, and the coronavirus pandemic has brought further challenges with key customers, such as Rolls Royce, also affected by the economic impact of the virus. Having recently joined a virtual meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Steel and following a meeting with Jon Ferriman, the new Director of Liberty Steel UK, I am increasingly confident that our world class UK steel industry has a strong future.
Director General, Gareth Stace shares my views on the importance of UK steel in building back after COVID:
"Working with the UK steel industry as we build out of this crisis will have a hugely positive impact on industrial communities across the UK and we look forward to joining with the Government to make this a reality.
The Government will spend £100bn investing in infrastructure over the next 5 years, and there is no infrastructure – railway lines, bridges, energy production – that does not require steel. As a result the UK’s demand for steel is expected to increase significantly, and I have been working with the steel industry to lobby the Government to commit to using UK produced steel in these projects. Not only would this protect and create UK jobs – such as those at Liberty steel – but it is also the right approach for the environment as UK steel production is ‘greener’ than much of the steel we import.
I was delighted therefore to hear the Prime Minister say last week:
The Government will do everything it can to ensure ‘UK steel manufacturers are at the front of the queue for the great projects that we are going to construct.
I will continue to work with Liberty Steel and my colleagues in parliament to make sure that UK steel benefits as we take the necessary steps to level up our national infrastructure.