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Is £1.2Bn and the loss of 2000 jobs a good deal?

By 23rd November 2023High Peak Steels News

British steel say it’s part of their drive to net zero, but it looks more like net £0.00 for the UK tax payer.

When will the World be normal again?

Back in September 2022, when I wrote about the volatility in the market, I never imagined that 12 months later, not only was the war on Ukraine still running at a pace but now we are seeing the biggest unrest in generations in Gaza (already a volatile place) as Israel and Hamas are locked in war.

 So as our hearts and prayers go out to all those facing the effects of war, conscious there is little we can do, I want to turn to home with some good news from High Peak Steels

Image of a diagram representing Steel Price trend
High Peak Steels new warehouse stock

Engineering steel grades

Stocked in our new high bay warehouse – we are now extending the range of  Bright and Black Engineering Steel Bar. Including the ever popular 080A15 EN3B, 080A42 EN8D

 We’re adding stock to our new warehouse, to ensure we meet the requirements of customers, improve lead times, and deliver the OTIF way On Time & In Full. A deeper level of stock for those needing higher resistance alloy steel bar that’s’ for shear loading we offer 605M36 T EN16, 709M40T EN19 and ideal for gears we have 817M40T EN24T.

Supply chain

Always a challenge, however with the added facility detailed above, many customers are committing to planning ahead with their stock requirements. We encouraged this at the most unpredictable times, so you, our customers could get the engineering steel you need. 

If you have not taken advantage of High Peak Steels stock planning service (to arrange what stock you’ll need for the future) call our sales team and ask about us keeping stock for you on call off,  avoiding delays and saving you time, storage space and money.


We have also added to our wagon fleet, as Josh Thornley manages stock between our new warehouse and our production site in Glossop, the new wagon is kept busy transporting vital stock for processing at head office.

British Steel

British SteelMany of you know my views that this is not really British Steel as it is under foreign ownership The company was acquired, out of Liquidation by the Chinese firm Jingye Group in November 2019. Whilst like many I welcome the investment of overseas business into the UK, I see a continual pattern of commitment to the UK on the basis of significant Government Investment. This latest proposal (yet to be approved) is for £1.2Bn of taxpayer money aimed at modernising steel production and improving our green credentials. 

But looking closer at the ‘deal’, this is at a time when British Steel is placing 2000 jobs at threat, with no promise of retention should the UK Investment be made – this does not seem right!

When Jingye Group first took the business on they pledged, when negotiating the purchase, to invest in revitalising British Steel, securing jobs, and upgrading facilities. Their promise, as part of the deal was to invest a familiar and promised £1.2Bn further investment by Jingye, as part of the purchase deal. However as of now they have only invested £156m – Interesting, as now this is exactly the amount they are asking the UK Treasury for! I wonder, would Jingye Group then claim this was the completion of their promise – only using UK tax payers money to fulfil the agreement?! Who knows, but this does not seem like sound business for UK PLC, never mind good for UK Steel production.

Looking back at the purchase in 2020, Jingye paid just £24m in what could be described as a fire sale as The British Government were subsidising the operation. This seems to make it all too easy for the overseas investors to turn heel when the market dips or they can produce products cheaper overseas! In the meantime the UK taxpayer has paid a foreign investor to upgrade their ageing plant.

A Minister for Manufacturing

This makes me wonder why we cannot make the Investment into our own steel sector, including engineering steel. Todays announcements by Jeremy Hunt in the Autumn Statement are making the right sounds, which MakeUK’s CE, Stephen Phipson responds to in The Manufacturer and clearly there are plans to back UK manufacturing. However, As Andrea Wilson has been lobbying for a minister for Manufacturing, recently commenting This is one of the reasons why, at Hone-All, we are calling for the creation of a dedicated #MinsterforManufacturing, or similar senior Government post, to more effectively coordinate support schemes and ensure that targeted help is provided for an industry that has faced a multitude of challenges in recent years, including supply chain bottlenecks, shortages of raw materials, and labour deficiencies.” 
Jason Pitt shares what he at MadeIN and many others are doing to lobby for this change. Here he gives advice to manufacturers on how to contribute to this movement “ What did we do? We met with the government Minster for industry, several rising stars in the government and hand posted a letter calling for £100billion for the sector to every MP and Peers, private pigeon box inside parliament.

Join us at Parliament next month to demand a ‘Minister for Manufacturing’. Check your inbox, add your name to the letter, and be part of this movement! 🛠️

I believe a minister  would be able to take a long term view of UK PLC. We have seen it when the British Government made a bold and excellent decision by the investment to buy Sheffield Forgemasters and whilst this was strongly motivated by a ministry of defence objective, this did secure jobs, protects the business, safeguards skills & expertise and provide a future for the industry, as well as the supply chain. So why not invest in and buy British?! As High Peak Steel are, a privately owned company who is reinvesting in its own work force and facilities, planning ahead for the future.

We are the real British Steelmen.

To talk to one of our advisors for more information call 01457 866911 or email us at [email protected]

Round steel bars stacked in warehouse