Tata Steel: the Government says it could possibly co-invest

Tata Steel's site in Brenda Road in Hartlepool.
Tata Steel's site in Brenda Road in Hartlepool.

The Government says it could co-invest in the trouble-hit steel industry.

The future of Tata’s Hartlepool site, in Brenda Road, which employs 500 people, was thrown into doubt last month when the firm announced its intention to sell all UK assets.

Speaking at the House of Commons, the Business Secretary Sajid Javid has raised the prospect of Government involvement in the sale of Tata Steel’s loss-making UK assets in a move which has surprised many in the industry.

Mr Javid told the Commons he had been in contact with potential buyers, making clear that the Government stands ready to help.

“This includes looking at the possibility of co-investing with a buyer on commercial terms,” he said.

He later said that the Government had not ruled anything out, before repeating his belief that the best way forward was for a sale to a private buyer.

Iain Wright, MP for Hartlepool, said: “The Hartlepool facility is excellent, focusing on high quality jobs and products.

“It’s a key part of the local economy but it’s also vital for the strength of British manufacturing.

“The Government needs to do all it can to safeguard the asset and the jobs until a potential buyer is made.”

He put a number of questions to the Secretary of State.

Mr Wright added: “To secure a long-term sustainable and profitable future for the British steel industry, the focus surely needs to be on developing high value niche downstream products for particular sectors or technologies, collaborating closely with customers in product development and design.”