Talks held with Business Secretary over future of Hartlepool steel jobs

Political leaders have held talks with Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng over the future of Liberty Steel’s pipe mill in Hartlepool.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 1:09 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th March 2021, 1:09 pm

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen and Cllr Shane Moore, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, met with the Secretary of State this week.

The meeting comes after the lenders of Liberty Steel filed for administration on Tuesday, March 9, placing thousands of steel jobs at risk.

Both Mayor Houchen and Cllr Moore called on the Government to do all they can to protect jobs in Hartlepool.

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Mayor Ben Houchen and Cllr Shane Moore discuss Liberty Steel’s pipe mills in Hartlepool. Picture: Jason Brown.

Mayor Houchen said: “It was very good speaking to the Business Secretary about Liberty Steel while he was in Teesside, both Shane and I made clear that we expect the Government to do all they can to protect good-quality, well paid steel jobs in Hartlepool.

“Currently Liberty Steel is continuing to trade as normal, and the Hartlepool mill is still operational making high-quality pipes for the oil, gas and offshore sectors.

"The global contract the company has secured over the last few years are a vote of confidence in the mills highly skilled workforce.

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“Having spoken with GFG earlier in the week they said they are optimistic about the future profitability of the business in Hartlepool.

"If this is the case then the company and the Government should have no difficulty ensuring the Hartlepool mills remain open for many year to come.”

Mr Kwarteng was in Teesside to announce global offshore wind manufacturer GE Renewable will build a new state of the art factory on the Teesworks site, creating 2,250 jobs.

Cllr Moore added: “The Hartlepool mills, which employ 250 people, are the largest of their type in the UK and as such are significant strategic assets that must be protected.

“During our meeting with the Secretary for State for Business I impressed upon him how critical the business was to Hartlepool; the workforce is highly skilled, hugely motivated and dedicated to making the best product available.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and will hold further talks with the company in the days and weeks ahead as more information becomes available."

In a statement on Tuesday, GFG Alliance said Greensill Capital filing for administration has created a ‘challenging situation’ but stressed the business currently has adequate funding.

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