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Revival of British Steel a 'new chapter'

Do Not UseDo Not Use 1/06/2016

The return of the British Steel brand marks a "new chapter" in the industry after completion of the sale of Tata's steelworks at Scunthorpe, unions said.

Greybull Capital has become the new owner of Tata Steel's Long products business safeguarding 4,000 jobs at the huge plant in the town.

Workers have had to take pay cuts and reductions in their pensions.

Community union said the name showed there was "the chance of a brighter future for steelmaking in the UK".

A ceremony took place at the site at 11:30 BST to unveil the new British Steel logo.

Greybull, the UK-based investment firm, bought the business last month for a nominal £1 fee and is to plough up to £400m into the plant.

Peter Hogg, the commercial director of British Steel, said some customers were "really, really excited" by the resurrection of the British Steel brand.

He said the pay cut was one in a series of measures that allowed the company to return to profit over the last two months.

Bimlendra Jha, chief executive of Tata Steel UK, said he hoped the business would continue to improve and paid tribute to a "dedicated and hard working" workforce.

'Viable, sustainable future'

Martin Foster, Unite's convenor in Scunthorpe, said: "British Steel's first day of trading marks the beginning of a new chapter not only for Scunthorpe, but UK steelmaking.

"It should not be forgotten, though, that today would not have been possible if it had not been for the sacrifices the workforce has made as part of the firm's transformation plan. For many it has involved tough choices about pay and their jobs."

Roy Rickhuss, Community union's general secretary, added: "British Steel is built on firm foundations with a skilled, experienced and dedicated workforce determined to make a success of the business."

The Long Products business employs 4,800 people - 4,400 in the UK and 400 in France.

It includes the Scunthorpe plant, which makes steel for the rail and construction sectors, two mills in Teesside, an engineering workshop in Workington, a design consultancy in York, and associated distribution facilities, as well as a rail mill in northern France.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said he believed "there really is a viable, sustainable future for world-class steelmaking in this country".

Greybull describes itself as "a family office which makes long-term investments in private companies".

The London-based firm is run by financiers Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas and Richard Perlhagen.

Tata Steel is assessing bids for the rest of its UK business including its Welsh site at Port Talbot.

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