Building a strong future for steelmaking in Stocksbridge
This morning, May 24, I have been informed that Speciality Steels, Stockbridge, is to be put up for sale by the Liberty Steel Group.
Following the recent financial difficulties of the GFG Alliance, which owns Liberty Steel, Liberty's owners have been negotiating with creditors to try to re-finance the business and I've been advised that Liberty are in advanced discussions in reaching an agreement with their main creditors, but this involves the sale of the Stocksbridge, Brinsworth, and West Bromwich plants.
Speciality Steels is a strategic national asset working in aerospace and special alloys, and it is therefore imperative that any sales process be transparent, agile and robust with key national and local stakeholders engaged with throughout. Speaking to ITV's Calendar news show, I made clear the strategic importance of Speciality Steels to our aerospace and defence sector, but also drew attention to the opportunities that might be realised if the right buyer is found.
I believe passionately that there is a strong future for steelmaking in Stocksbridge, and I will do everything I can to work with the Government and Liberty to find the right buyer.
I have also today written to Secretary of State for Business Kwasi Kwarteng, urging him to intervene to help find a suitable buyer for the site, and have asked that the Government consider providing financial assistance if necessary to make sure that steelmaking can continue until a buyer is found. With 700 workers at the Stocksbridge site alone, alongside the wider supply chain and community impact, it is essential that Speciality Steels continues to operate.
Stocksbridge Speciality Steels has unique capabilities that are of strategic importance to the whole of the UK. As the local Member of Parliament I will continue to make the case to Government to secure the future of UK steel.
This is clearly an anxious time for steelmakers in Stocksbridge, their families, and our community and I will be available to talk to steelworkers and union reps at the plant this week.