Plant & Works Engineering
Cross-Party Steel MPs call on Government to back key infrastructure projects
Published:  30 January, 2020

At its first meeting since the General Election, the All Party Parliamentary Group for Steel elected new officers from across the UK and across the political spectrum, ensuring the group will continue to be a strong and vocal champion for Britain’s steel industry.

Noting the Government’s own study identifying a £4/billion a year new market opportunity for the nation’s steel producers, the group were unanimous in their view that there is a bright future for the UK steel sector if the right foundations for success can be provided.

The new Steel APPG Officers welcomed the Government’s pledges on shifting the focus of infrastructure investments outside London, and called upon Ministers to give key projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail the green light. MPs agreed that these projects have the potential to benefit millions of people in all four corners of the UK, but must be done in a strategic manner that maximises the economic benefits they can deliver to the UK in jobs and economic growth.

Critically, to really deliver on the promised value of these major projects, Government should maximise the opportunities to use high-quality UK steel products in public infrastructure projects, that bring with them jobs and local economic growth. It is estimated that HS2 alone will use 2 million tonnes of steel over the next 10 years. The use of UK made steel for HS2 would support over 2,000 jobs, and deliver £1.5 billion to the UK economy – ensuring the benefits of this project are not just felt along the route, but in steel communities across the UK.

The group were also clear that the Government must take the opportunity to put right the UK’s business environment, taking action on energy prices, business rates and decarbonisation policy. And as we prepare to leave the EU, the Government must use its new freedoms to maximise the opportunities for UK steel exports.

The steel industry stands ready to invest and can have a positive future, underpinned by increasing long term UK and global demand for steel products, all it requires is a partnership with the Government to help deliver a level playing field that can unlock its potential.

The newly elected Steel APPG Co-Chair, Holly Mumby-Croft MP, said:

‘As someone with a family history of steel making, it’s a real privilege to Co-Chair the group. I am joining my colleagues in calling for the Government to honour its commitment to “power up the North” by investing in infrastructure projects using steel produced in the UK. Steel making is at the heart of my community, I look forward to working with all members of the group on a cross party basis to support and champion UK steel.’

The newly elected Steel APPG Co-Chair, Jessica Morden MP, said:

“I’m very pleased to have been elected co-chair of the All Party Steel group at this very important time for our industry. We’ll be getting to work straight away with fellow MPs, UK Steel and steel unions Community and Unite, to press for measures to support steel in advance of the budget, including on energy costs and maximising the use of UK-produced steel in infrastructure projects.”