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Triple boost as business leaders to sign UK Steel Charter

Posted on 25 Mar 2024. Read 771 times.
Triple boost as business leaders to sign UK Steel CharterSouth Yorkshire is home to a proud history of steelmaking, with the earliest record dating to 1642. Today, almost 400 years later, the South Yorkshire Metro Mayor, Oliver Coppard, the South Yorkshire Metro Combined Authority, and the newly founded regional Business Advisory Board will sign the UK Steel Charter. They will also visit the iconic Sheffield Forgemasters, showing support for and celebrating the importance of the local steel industry.

Signing the UK Steel Charter signals a commitment, encouraging business leaders to change procurement processes to include more UK-made steel, supporting local jobs, supply chains and the economy. South Yorkshire is a centre for manufacturing with over 2,700 businesses, employing 59,000 people, plus eight major steel producers and processor industrial sites. The metals sector is significant in the region, making up the third largest grouping in the wider Yorkshire and the Humber area.

Mayor Coppard becomes the first Northern Mayor to sign the Charter. He recently established the Business Advisory Board with industry experts from the local Chambers of Commerce, Make UK, CBI, Northern Trade Union Congress and Federation of Small Businesses to name a few.

The site they are visiting is Sheffield Forgemasters, a major South Yorkshire manufacturing hub with over 200 years of history. The steel producer employs more than 600 staff and manufactures 40,000 tonnes of heavy and technically challenging steel forgings and castings every year. These are used in highly specialist defence, civil nuclear, power and aerospace applications.

South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard, said: “South Yorkshire is the spiritual home of the steel industry. We were the first place to mass produce steel, we powered the first industrial revolution, and we are now home to the world’s first advanced manufacturing district.

“Now, as the Mayor of South Yorkshire, I am determined to restore the pride, purpose and prosperity of South Yorkshire. By signing the UK’s Steel Charter we are not just recognising our heritage, we are committing to bringing high-quality, good jobs and growth to our region, right across our region.

“Advanced manufacturing, making the materials and the machines that will power our country forward, is South Yorkshire’s lodestar; the future of our communities and our economy. That is why it is not just important but vital that we commit to the UK’s Steel Charter.

Triple boost of support

“It is all the better to do so here at Sheffield Forgemasters, a company that is so central to that brighter future for both steel and South Yorkshire that we all want to see.”

Tripple boost - UK Steel CharterUK steel director general, Gareth Stace, said: “This is a triple boost of support as Mayor Coppard, the South Yorkshire Business Advisory Board and the Combined Authority join the UK Steel Charter. Today’s support is even more poignant as the Charter is signed in Sheffield, the historical home of the UK steel industry.

“With major support from these business leaders, the economy and thousands of jobs in South Yorkshire and throughout the UK will reap benefits from purchasing steel that is made, processed, and delivered here in Britian. Why expose your project to the whims of unpredictable global supply chains, when you have the option of a reliable local business to partner with, throughout the lifetime of your project. Using UK steel is quite simply a win-win for everyone.”

Sheffield Forgemasters chief executive officer, Gary Nutter, said: “The UK Steel Charter signing at Sheffield Forgemasters is timely, as we progress with substantial recapitalisation of our site to secure defence supply for decades to come.

“This company is testament to the importance of British steel production and our skills base is unique, which is why the business was acquired by the Ministry of Defence in 2021. As global instability shows itself through energy challenges, it is critical that we reflect on the security of domestic manufacturing capabilities.”

Tariq Shah, co-chair of the Business Advisory Board, said: “Signing the UK Steel Charter underlines the Mayor’s and the Business Advisory Board’s commitment to growing South Yorkshire’s economy and supporting local businesses and supply chains.

“Our mission is to play a pivotal role in capitalising on the positive momentum in South Yorkshire, driving business success nationally and internationally. Today’s meeting with Sheffield Forgemasters and UK Steel has highlighted the huge importance of South Yorkshire steel to the local and national economy and to wider supply chains.”