Deal signed to help safeguard Sheffield’s steel trade

Gareth Stace
Gareth Stace

Sheffield City Council has been praised after signing a pledge to support the British steel industry.

The authority is one of the first signatories of the Charter for British Sustainable Steel, an initiative that has been set up by trade body UK Steel to promote domestically produced steel that has been manufactured in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.

A motion at a full council to support the initiative received unanimous support. Councillor Leigh Bramall, deputy leader and cabinet member for business, skills and development, said: “Stainless-steel was discovered in Sheffield and the city is proud to have a world-wide reputation for being synonymous with the industry. British steel is essential to Sheffield’s new role in advanced manufacturing, which demands high levels of precision, quality and reliability.”

Research has shown that additives present in some Chinese steel products can make them more susceptible to cracking unless specific welding techniques are used. Despite repeated official warnings, poor labelling means construction workers are often unable to differentiate between Chinese and British rebar. This means they do not take the necessary precautions and are therefore at risk. But industry experts say the Charter will help to improve health and safety for construction workers by promoting the use of domestically made steel.

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, said: “Signing our Charter will help safeguard the future of the British steel industry and we should be proud to support the use of British sustainable steel.”