Government nationalises steel company

More than 600 steel-making jobs at Sheffield Forgemasters have been secured following the decision to nationalise the company. The takeover by the Ministry of Defence also secures the supply chain for high-quality steel for the next generation of Britain’s defence investment programmes.

The government stated that Forgemasters is the only available British manufacturer with the skills and capability to produce large scale high-integrity castings and forgings from specialist steels in an integrated facility to the highest standards required for these programmes. It will invest around £400 million in the company over the next decade.

The company specialises in forged and cast steel components for the defence, engineering, nuclear, offshore, petrochemical, and steel processing industries worldwide. Forgemasters will continue to operate in areas outside of defence.

Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of steel union Community, said: “We know with the right framework of support our industry has a bright future at the core of a low carbon economy, so we are pleased to see some much-needed investment going into Sheffield Forgemasters to provide long-term security.

We see this move as a recognition of the importance of the steel industry to our country’s economic future. The pandemic has shown us the danger of relying on fragile overseas supply chains, so we are pleased to see a viable future secured for Sheffield Forgemasters.

Steve Turner, assistant general secretary of manufacturing union Unite, said: “Critical infrastructure industries like steel function better in public hands and advanced economies like our own need to have stable, secure domestic steel production capabilities to protect our national security interests as well as to compete in global markets.

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