Hartlepool steel plants have an important role in the future, says town MP

Tata Steel plant in Hartlepool
Tata Steel plant in Hartlepool

Hartlepool's MP says the town will be well placed in the resurgence of the steel industry after attending a conference on the sector.

Town MP Mike Hill joined more than 100 workers, industry experts and key politicians attended a conference to discuss the future of the steel industry in the UK.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill

This follows the near collapse of the steel industry on Teesside with the closure of the Redcar blast furnace in 2016 and the meeting was hosted by the steel workers union, Community, and attended by Business Minister Richard Harrington and local MP Anna Turley.

He said: "I am pleased that continued investment by Tata Steel in production in Hartlepool and brand new investment into the Pipe Mill Sector by Liberty Steel shows that our town is an important player in the re-emergence and regrowth of the industry.

"Complimenting this is the unique place we have in the recycling and end of life industry for off shore oil platforms by Able UK at Graythorp, which is second to none worldwide, as well as the increased capacity for steel export that we have at our local ports.

"Forward and innovative thinking by the likes of Liberty Steel in raw product to end product developments, or end to end production, on our home shores is vital given the ongoing debate over Brexit.

Liberty Steel plant in Hartlepool

Liberty Steel plant in Hartlepool

"There are a lot of myths and scare stories circling at the moment, especially around the Government’s economic impact assessment that the North East will suffer a 16% negative economic impact post Brexit, but whatever storm we face on that front, I can only say that if the current Tory Government reckons there is £3.8bn a year to be tapped into by UK Steel by 2030 then Hartlepool is best placed to corner a large specialist share of that market.

"Investment in Hartlepool and steel manufacturing by firms like Liberty is forward thinking on their part and a very bold move given the current climate over Brexit, but indicates a real confidence over global opportunities in world markets in which they already are very well established.

"The only thing that doesn’t make any of this a good news story is the sacrifice of the old British Steel Pension scheme and proper remuneration for steel workers in their retirement."