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Tata's Lisburn arm to be rebranded as British Steel after division sold off

By Margaret Canning and PA

Published 02/06/2016

Workers at the plant in Lisburn, which has been bought up by Greybull Capital
Workers at the plant in Lisburn, which has been bought up by Greybull Capital

Tata Steel in Lisburn is set to be rebranded as British Steel after the completion of the sale of the firm's long products division.

Greybull Capital has bought the arm of the business, securing around 70 jobs in Lisburn, as well as thousands of jobs at a huge plant in Scunthorpe.

The Moira Road site was the base of Tata's Ireland-wide distribution network and contained part of the firm's strip products division, which is still for sale.

Lagan Valley DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said he hoped to meet the new owners of the plant in the near future.

"I welcome this development and I'm delighted that thousands of British jobs will be safeguarded as a result," he added.

"But it remains to be seen what impact this will have on the Lisburn site, though I am hopeful it will secure the jobs."

Bimlendra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK, said: "As a responsible seller, Tata Steel is delighted to have secured a buyer for this business, and we hope that under Greybull Capital ownership the business will continue the momentum of the improvement programme that has been initiated in the last 12 months.

"Employees and trade unions have worked closely with the long products Europe management team to improve the business's prospects, putting it in a more competitive position than it has been for many years.

"It is through their dedication and hard work that we are in this position today in spite of continued challenges in the market."

The Community union's general secretary, Roy Rickhuss, added: "Community warmly welcomes the opening of this new chapter in the course of the UK steel industry.

"It also demonstrates that there is the chance of a brighter future for steelmaking in the UK, with the right vision and investment.

"British Steel is built on firm foundations with a skilled, experienced and dedicated workforce determined to make a success of the business.

"They have a proud track record of delivering high-quality long products to flagship construction and infrastructure products around the world. The turnaround plan agreed between management and unions is already yielding positive results."

The long products business includes the Scunthorpe steelworks, two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York and associated distribution facilities - including Lisburn - as well as a rail mill in France. The business employs 4,800 people - 4,400 in the UK.

Tata continues to assess bids to buy the rest of its UK business. British Steel commercial director Peter Hogg said yesterday was a landmark day for the business.

Belfast Telegraph

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