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South Yorkshire leaders welcome Government plans to acquire Sheffield Forgemasters plant

Town Hall at night

News that the Ministry of Defence plans to take over Sheffield Forgemasters steel plant has been welcomed by South Yorkshire leaders as a recognition of the importance of the steel industry to the UK’s economy, and the value of government taking an active role to secure its future.

Sheffield Forgemasters is one of the UK’s oldest steel plants and the Ministry of Defence has announced plans to acquire the company and invest £400m over the next ten years.

Responding to the announcement, the South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis said,

“I welcome this move both as a recognition of the importance of steel to our economy, regionally and nationally, and its importance for UK defence.

Steel is synonymous with Sheffield and South Yorkshire and I have repeatedly raised the issue of securing the industry’s future with Government.

While today’s announcement is most welcome, ministers also need to attend to the future of two of our other steel plants which hang in the balance, as a result of the crisis at Liberty Steel.

The facilities at Stocksbridge and Rotherham have enormous potential, and I will continue to fight for the South Yorkshire steel industry and work to protect all the jobs and businesses they support.

I’ll be meeting the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the near future to discuss.”

Sheffield City Council leader, Cllr Terry Fox said,

“It’s without doubt a positive move for Sheffield Forgemasters and for the city. Sheffield Forgemasters is a massive player in this industry and it’s right that the Government is recognising its importance nationally and the need for significant investment. We’ve got world-leading expertise right here in Sheffield – we’ve got steel running through our veins.

This needs to be the first step of many though, we can’t forget the challenge Liberty Steel is going through right on our doorstep. We’ve already called on the Government to take action and we need clarity now on how they will put Sheffield first.”

Chairman of South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership James Muir said,

“This is fantastic news and testament to the unique manufacturing capabilities of Sheffield Forgemasters, the skills of the workforce and the quality of the management team, led by Chief Executive David Bond.

We’re working with a pipeline of high-growth, high-value and investment-ready businesses in the region. This investment shows that public intervention done right can unlock jobs, growth and innovation. That’s our mission here in South Yorkshire.”

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