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Jobs at risk as British Steel proposes closure of only site in East Anglia

PUBLISHED: 14:07 02 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:04 02 November 2018

A British Steel metal centre like the one in Brandon. Picture by British Steel

A British Steel metal centre like the one in Brandon. Picture by British Steel

British Steel

Thirteen jobs are proposed to be cut at British Steel’s Brandon site only a month and a half after the company promised no sites would close as part of a ‘streamlining’ process.

Sites at Brandon and in Hull are both part of closure proposals going through consultation, with 19 jobs in total on the line.

The Brandon site is a one of British Steel’s metal centres which sell smaller quantities of steel to the industry, and is the only site in East Anglia.

Should the closure go ahead, businesses in the region will have to purchase goods from the company’s bases in Wolverhampton and Teesside.

In September, British Steel said 400 jobs would be lost throughout the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands as part of its “streamlining process”.

At the time, the company said: “No closures are being considered as part of the process.”

Asked about the potential closure of the Brandon site, a British Steel spokesman said: “We’ve put forward a proposal to strengthen the overall service we provide to our metal centre customers across the UK by consolidating some of our operations.

“Our proposal, which forms part of our recently announced streamlining to ensure the long-term growth of our business, would see our site in Brandon close with the loss of 13 roles.

“A consultation period has started and we’ll offer our full support to those affected.”

He added: “We remain committed to supplying steel throughout the UK and Ireland, and in the Brandon area. The proposed closure of our Brandon Metal Centre would see customers in the Brandon and East Anglia areas being supplied through our operations in Wolverhampton and Teesside.

“It’s important we broaden our customer base and product range and ensure our customers – current and new – get the quality services and products they rightly expect. Consolidating our operations would enable us to do this.”

Greybull Capital, a private investment company, owns British Steel, after it purchased assets from Tata Steel in 2016. Tata Steel had themselves taken over Corus, who previously ran the Brandon site, in 2007.

Matt Hancock, West Suffolk MP and the secretary of state for health, said: “This is disappointing news, especially after the assurances given less than two months ago.

“Everyone affected should get support - and I’ll be contacting the local Department of Work and Pensions to insist that those employees affected by the Brandon closure be given all the support they need.”

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