Scottish steel task force meets – but no task force for English Steel

Scottish steel task force meets

Written by Tom Freeman on 29 October 2015 in News

Government urged to consider Prestwick-style takeover of steel plants

A task force set up by business minister Fergus Ewing to discuss the future of Scottish steel is to meet for the first time today.

The group was set up after Tata Steel announced plans to close its plants in Scotland, putting 270 jobs at risk. High energy costs and cheaper imports from China were given as the reasons for the closures.

Representatives from the company will sit down with Ewing and trade union representatives later, after the Scottish Government said it would do what it can to keep the plants running.


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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said “nothing was off the table”, indicating a Government buy-out, similar to what happened at Prestwick, may be an option. The airport was bought for £1 in 2013.

Scottish labour MSP James Kelly urged the Government to consider it.

“The SNP government stepped in to take Prestwick Airport into public hands. This option must be on the table for Clydebridge and Dalzell. Anything less would be unacceptable,” he said.

However, Fergus Ewing said the priority was to find a buyer.

“Everyone on the Task Force knows how challenging that will be, but we will explore every possible option as fast as possible to meet that shared aim. We will not give up on the steel industry and the workers,” he said.

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