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Tata and Whitehall set up Scunthorpe steel fund

The beleaguered local economy of Scunthorpe has been offered a support package worth £9m in the wake of the closure of the Tata steel plant and loss of 900 jobs.

Tata Steel’s regeneration arm UK Steel Enterprise has pledged £3m to support job creation in Scunthorpe, on top of £10m it has promised to contribute to help regenerate UK steel communities during the next five years.

This cash injection is being matched by the Government to provide support for more start-up businesses and companies that are looking to expand and create jobs. Ministers are also giving an extra £3m for training of affected employees in local further education colleges.

Baroness Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, will lead a taskforce to identify local needs, co-ordinate with UK Steel Enterprise and consider what additional support is necessary.

Business secretary Sajid Javid said: “This is a very difficult time for the workforce, so it is important that the Government and the company have come together to support people and the local economy.

“The Government has no intention of simply standing aside while the steel industry faces global challenges on a scale unprecedented in recent years. We will do everything we can to help workers and to ensure a level playing field for the industry.”

Tata Steel’s UK Steel Enterprise is also providing £1.5m to support job creation around its Dalzell and Clydebridge sites in Scotland, which have also been closed.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata’s European operations, said he recognised it was a challenging time for employees affected by the closures.

“We are committed to doing everything in our power to support those impacted an,d through UK Steel Enterprise, we will help to create new jobs in the affected local communities,” he said.

“The UK steel industry is facing extremely challenging circumstances and we welcome the Government’s pledge to match our funding package for those affected.”

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