The UK Government and Tata Steel have announced a £9m support package for the local economy and workers laid off as a result of redundancies at the company's Scunthorpe steelworks.
On Tuesday, Tata announced that it will cut 1,200 jobs from its UK steel-making facilities with 900 of those occurring in the Scunthorpe plant.
Tata Steel’s regeneration arm, UK Steel Enterprise, has pledged to support job creation in Scunthorpe with a £3m package, on top of £10m it has already allocated to help regenerate UK steel communities over the next five years.
The £3m will be matched by the government and is designed to provide support for more start-up businesses and companies that are looking to expand and create jobs.
The government will also provide an additional £3m for training employees affected by the job cuts through local further education colleges.
Business Secretary Sajid Javid admitted that it was a ‘very difficult time’ for the Scunthorpe workforce and said it was important that the government and Tata offer their support to those affected.
“The government has no intention of simply standing aside whilst the steel industry faces global challenges on a scale unprecedented in recent years,” he said.
“We will do everything we can to help workers and to ensure a level playing field for the industry. Tata Steel has a strong track record of creating jobs and supporting local communities right across the country, and its commitment to this package today is to be commended.”
300 jobs were also lost at Tata’s Dalzell and Clydebridge sites in Scotland. The company has offered an additional £1.5m to support job creation in those areas too. The UK government is continuing discussions with the Scottish government about further support.
Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “I recognise this is a challenging time for the employees affected by the restructuring we announced.”
“We are committed to doing everything in our power to support those impacted and through UK Steel Enterprise we will help create new jobs in the affected local communities.”
“The UK steel industry is facing extremely challenging circumstances and we welcome the government’s pledge to match our funding package for those affected.”
The Tata announcement has come as another blow to the UK steel industry, following the recent closure of the SSI steel plant at Redcar which resulted in 1,700 job losses.