British Steel placed in administration, 25000 jobs at stake

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British Steel placed in administration, 25000 jobs at stake

The Official Receiver said British Steel Ltd had been wound up in the High Court.

British Steel, the country's second-largest steel producer, will be placed into administration as early as Wednesday, Sky News reported, jeopardizing some 25,000 jobs.

Up to 4,000 jobs in Scunthorpe (left), North Lincolnshire, 800 in Teesside and 20,000 in the United Kingdom supply chain are at risk (top-right, workers leaving the site, telling reporters they "used" to be employed).

A breakdown in rescue talks between the government and British Steel's owners Greybill over a request for a £30 million emergency loan, has seen the company enter insolvency, endangering 5,000 jobs directly, and putting a further 20,000 in the supply chain at risk.

"It is vital now that cool heads prevail and all parties focus on saving the jobs".

"We would urge the management, contractors, suppliers and customers to support them in that fight for the future".

The company, which gets 95 per cent of its rails from British Steel - about 100,000 tonnes - said it had increased rail production volumes, brought orders forward and even offered immediate payment on work in an attempt to free up cash flow.

Britain's second largest steelmaker was wound up by the high court this morning, in a move that threatens thousands employed at Scunthorpe's huge steel plant and hundreds more on Teesside.

Hargreaves Services, which supplies materials handling and other services to British Steel, said if the company ceases to trade, this could reduce Hargreave's revenue in next full year by £11 million and its profit before tax by about £1.3 million.

United Kingdom steel production has reduced dramatically in recent decades, with the number employed in the industry falling from 322,800 in 1971 to 31,800 in 2018, according to the Office for National Statistics. In the case of British Steel this includes beams for construction.

Only yesterday, a government-supported initiative was launched to encourage government to purchase more United Kingdom steel for projects like HS2 and the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

"They must now put their money where their mouth is", said Ross Murdoch, national officer for the GMB union for steelworkers.

Christopher Greenough, commercial director at Shrewsbury-based pressings specialist Salop Design, said: "Again we see that the lack of investment in United Kingdom steel has led it to become uncompetitive in a very much productivity focused sector".

"Ministers should have been ready to make use of all the options - including nationalisation - in order to save British Steel, but they either don't care or wouldn't take off their ideological blinkers to save hard-working people and communities".

"To get the economy kick started, we need to manufacture goods, and to do this we need to have a supply chain that is United Kingdom based, and United Kingdom controlled".

"It's time the Government took their hands out of their pockets and stood up for steel".

Even though Brexit has played a part in the decline of British Steel, things are still up in the air, especially with the United Kingdom due to leave the European Union on October 31, and the terms of that separation have not been agreed upon.

"The actual outlook for the demand for the consumption of our products remains high, there is absolutely no reason why with the right measures in place we can't have and continue to have a very profitable, sustainable steel industry in the UK", Warren said.

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