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Scottish Steel Task Force

Published: 13 Nov 2015 15:18

Second meeting discusses progress in finding future for Tata sites.

The Scottish Steel Task Force met for the second time today to discuss continuing efforts to find an alternative operator for Tata Steel's Dalzell and Clydebridge plants.

Meeting at Ravenscraig, members were updated on the range of efforts to find new investors, to cut costs and to create the most supportive business environment.

Business Minister Fergus Ewing, who chairs the Task Force, said:

"The Scottish Steel Task Force remains completely focussed on finding an alternative operator for the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants and keeping as many jobs as possible. Since the first meeting a fortnight ago, there have been a number of developments.

"Scottish Enterprise is pursuing every possible investment opportunity. It has circulated a marketing prospectus to all 29 SDI field offices to connect with potential investors around the world, and to 600 Globalscots, the worldwide network of business leaders dedicated to helping Scottish companies thrive.

"The Task Force heard presentations from two independent consultancies who agreed a viable future for the plants could be found, highlighting existing strengths and potential new markets. In conjunction with Tata Steel, discussions continue to explore viable options around where savings could be made in areas like procurement, energy efficiency and back office functions, in what are challenging global economic conditions.

"We have looked closely at whether and how business rates for the two sites could be reduced and are considering next steps. On procurement, we have looked at future public transport and infrastructure projects that need steel and have provided information to Tata Steel and workforce representatives.

"The UK Government updated members on meetings in Brussels this week on steel dumping and on the three working groups it has set up to look at issues around the steel industry, all of which have Scottish Government representation.

"All members of the Task Force agreed to continue to collaborate across all fronts to meet our aims."

Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said:

"It was a pleasure to welcome the second meeting of the Steel Task Force, in spite of the circumstances, to the Ravenscraig Sports Facility on the site of the former steelworks.

"The group remains fully committed to finding an alternative operator and to keeping production going.

"I firmly believe that there is a future for steel manufacturing in Lanarkshire and that we can work together to secure a future for this industry and a future for the workers and their families and indeed our communities."

The Task Force will meet again on November 26, 2015.

Notes to editors

The Scottish Steel Task Force brings together key partners to co-ordinate the development of a joint, multi-agency Economic Recovery Plan to mitigate the economic impacts to the area resulting from Tata Steel's announcement. The Plan will:

  • Work with Tata Steel and trade unions to secure a future for the Scottish sites, continuing the work that has already started to evaluate the business and identify potential efficiency savings, training support and market opportunities;
  • Provide support and advice for the individuals employed at the site, and working in the supply chain, to maximise each individual's opportunity to secure alternative employment, should this be required;
  • Provide support to the communities impacted by the current uncertainty and potential future job losses;
  • Assess the economic infrastructure of the local area, to identify whether any improvements can be made to support economic development; and
  • Consider additional area regeneration activity, alongside the existing Ravenscraig Masterplan to support local economic regeneration and recovery.