Rotherham MP would support Tata spin-off sale

John Healey

John Healey

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Selling Tata’s Speciality Steels as a standalone company would be welcomed by Rotherham MP John Healey if it meant safeguarding jobs in the town.

The division, which is based in South Yorkshire, has attracted the attention of several would-be buyers, it is claimed.

The site of Tata Steel in Stocksbridge. Picture: Andrew Roe

The site of Tata Steel in Stocksbridge. Picture: Andrew Roe

The rumours come after Tata Steel put its entire loss-making UK operations up for sale. The Indian-owned firm has just sold its Long Products division, based in Scunthorpe, to Greybull Capital.

Mr Healey said Speciality Steels, which employs more than 2,000 in Stocksbridge and Rotherham, has its own accounts, board and a recently-approved business plan - and it was profitable most years.

He added: “If the reports are right it can only be a good thing that there’s more than one source of interest in buying it.

Whoever does buy it, my concerns are the same. They must have a long term commitment to jobs and investment to keep up the innovation and quality.

TATA Steel plant at Rotherham which is under threat after the Indian owners said they are looking to sell the business
Picture Dean Atkins

TATA Steel plant at Rotherham which is under threat after the Indian owners said they are looking to sell the business Picture Dean Atkins

“My first priority is to the future of South Yorkshire steel making and safeguarding jobs. If that’s the route it takes, I’m right behind it.”

The Government last week said it was willing to take a 25 per cent stake in any rescue of Tata Steel’s UK operations.

The business department said it was preparing to make a support package “worth hundreds of millions of pounds” available to potential buyers. It also said it was working with the pension scheme trustees of Tata Steel and British Steel to minimise any impact on the purchaser.

Mr Healey added: “I’m quietly confident that if there are problems the government can find ways of helping to resolve them.”