The news that British Steel is entering into insolvency endangering 5,000 jobs directly at its Scunthorpe plant and up to 20,000 jobs within the supply chain is disappointing, despite efforts to save the UK’s second largest steel producer yesterday.
British Steel currently operates a distribution network centre in Stoke-on-Trent and will inevitably supply a number of manufacturers based in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.
Commenting on the news that British Steel has entered into insolvency, Sara Williams, Chief Executive of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, said:
“It was only 19 years ago that Shelton Bar steelworks closed its doors after 159 years of successful iron and steel manufacturing. In its heyday the works stretched across Etruria Valley and employed around 10,000 people, cementing Stoke-on-Trent as a world leading producer for the steel industry.
Despite the Shelton Bar steelworks no longer being a dominant presence in the city, its successes fuelled generation after generation of manufacturers to choose to operate here. Creating numerous supply chains and on-going employment for steelworkers and the local community.
Steel production is embedded into the very foundations of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and the loss of jobs at British Steel is terrible news bringing with it a period of great uncertainty for employees affected, primarily in Scunthorpe but also to those based nationwide.
We are currently speaking to members about this announcement as we gauge its immediate effect on Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Any company of this size going into administration will have ramifications across numerous supply chains and we will be supporting our members through this difficult time.
We know that manufacturers are facing a range of issues at the moment, from continued uncertainty over Brexit, rising costs of doing business and persistent difficulties in recruitment. It goes without saying that Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce will be on hand to help firms and employees affected by this sad news. Anyone needing help, guidance or support should get in touch and we will do our utmost to assist them.”