The Government and Tata Steel have announced an initial support package of up to £9 million to support the local economy and employees affected by the proposed restructuring and job losses at the Scunthorpe steelworks.
Tata Steel’s regeneration arm UK Steel Enterprise has pledged £3m to support job creation in Scunthorpe, on top of £10m it has already earmarked to help regenerate UK steel communities over the next five years.
The new £3, funding is being matched by the UK Government. It will provide support for more start-up businesses and companies that are looking to expand and create jobs.
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In addition, the Government is separately providing up to £3m specifically for training of affected employees through local further education colleges.
The Government has asked Baroness Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, to lead a taskforce which will identify local needs, co-ordinate with UK Steel Enterprise and consider whether additional support may be necessary.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “This is a very difficult time for the workforce, so it is important that the Government and the company have come together to support people and the local economy.
“The Government has no intention of simply standing aside whilst the steel industry faces global challenges on a scale unprecedented in recent years. We will do everything we can to help workers and to ensure a level playing field for the industry.
“Tata Steel has a strong track record of creating jobs and supporting local communities right across the country, and its commitment to this package today is to be commended.”
Tata Steel’s UK Steel Enterprise is also providing an additional £1.5m to support job creation in steel communities around its Dalzell and Clydebridge sites in Scotland. The UK Government is continuing discussions with the Scottish Government about further support.
Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “I recognise this is a challenging time for the employees affected by the restructuring we announced.
“We are committed to doing everything in our power to support those impacted and through UK Steel Enterprise we will help create new jobs in the affected local communities.
“The UK steel industry is facing extremely challenging circumstances and we welcome the Government’s pledge to match our funding package for those affected.”
Lady Redfern, chair of the local taskforce, said: “We have been really well supported, with ministers, right up to the Prime Minister and the local MP’s, particularly Andrew Percy who has worked with us to create our list of asks from Government.
“The £9m announced today by the Government and UK Steel Enterprise will provide a significant boost to the North Lincolnshire economy. We intend to work quickly to help people who have lost their jobs to ensure that every element of support is available, whilst at the same time encouraging new businesses to start and grow in North Lincolnshire.”
Over the past four decades Tata Steel’s UK Steel Enterprise has helped to regenerate local economies with £88m of support and created more than 75,000 new jobs across the UK.