20 Aug 2018

Northern Powerhouse Minister visits British Steel

Earlier today, Monday 20 August, British Steel welcomed Minister for the Northern Powerhouse Jake Berry to its Special Profiles mill in Skinningrove as the Northern Powerhouse started its ‘tour’ of businesses in the North East, Yorkshire and North West. 

He was joined by Simon Clarke MP. The party toured British Steel’s rolling mill where the company makes specialist steel products such as track shoes and the cutting edge of buckets for earthmoving and mining machinery. 

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) is an independent body that was launched in September 2016 to represent the voice of business and civic leaders across the north. Its aim is to encourage new policy ideas that will improve the north's quality of life and economy, and promote it as a place to work, study, live and invest. 

Peter Gate, British Steel’s Managing Director – Special Profiles, said: “It was good to welcome Jake to our mill today and to hear about his plans for the Northern Powerhouse. It was also a great opportunity for our employees to ask the minister questions in what turned out to be a lively Q&A session. 

“We already know how great Teesside is and are proud to be a part of manufacturing in the north. 

“While our heritage is important to us, we’re also continually modernising and investing in our people and plant. By doing so we can make sure we deliver the high-quality products and services our customers demand.” 

Last summer a £1.9m state-of-the-art descaling system was installed in the mill, which means British Steel can now offer market-leading surface quality on products rolled at Skinningrove. 

Paul Martin, British Steel’s Deputy CEO, said: “Increased raw material costs and fluctuating steel prices continue to be a challenge. It’s important safeguarding action is taken to prevent the dumping of cheap steel into Europe following the imposition of steel tariffs by the US. However, we remain in positive talks with the government and our other stakeholders, and are confident about our future.” 

This is the first time Jake has visited British Steel and he was hugely supportive of the company’s future plans. He said: “British Steel is a great British business and it has been fantastic to visit its site at Skinningrove today and speak to the employees who make products that make British Steel such a well-respected name around the world.” 

British Steel has 2 mills in the Teesside region – the other mill, which rolls large steel sections for major construction projects, is based in Lackenby and sits at the heart of the area the South Tees Development Corporation wants to transform into a world-class industrial business park, creating 20,000 jobs. 

“We’re extremely supportive of any efforts that help this region’s economy prosper and help achieve its true potential,” said Peter.