The Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce is deeply saddened by this morning’s news that British Steel is to enter insolvency and our thoughts are with the people of Scunthorpe at this most difficult time.

The Chamber wants to see the British Steel Plant in Scunthorpe continue as a going concern – as a direct employer of 3,000 people in the town, and with many other local businesses reliant on the plant for their work, it is much too important to Scunthorpe and the wider Northern Lincolnshire region to be allowed to fail.

If the Government announces a Steel Task Force in an effort to save the plant, the Chamber would like to see this run by BEIS and led by a senior Government Minister.

We feel it is vital for UK manufacturing that we retain a steel industry and call on the Government to do everything that is required to ensure Scunthorpe continues as a going concern. One of British Steel’s biggest customers is Network Rail which obtains 95% of its rail track from the Scunthorpe plant.

When the business was bought by Greybull Capital for a nominal £1 in 2016 and relaunched and rebranded, bringing back the British Steel name, the pride and the passion at the site had to be seen to be believed and it will be a travesty if it is allowed to fall due to circumstances largely beyond its control.

Commenting on the news British Steel is entering insolvency, Hannah Essex, Co-executive director at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Many Chamber businesses will be concerned about the potential impact of British Steel entering insolvency, particularly those in their supply chain who will be directly and deeply affected. The company’s operations are at the centre of many local communities, generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Failure to find a buyer would be devastating to many areas which rely so strongly on this industry. Small and medium-sized suppliers and contractors must be at the forefront of the Official Receiver’s mind throughout this process.”