UK Govt loan saves 1,800 steel jobs and secures additional payments for taxpayer
A loan provided by the UK Government to Cardiff-based Celsa Steel which secured 1,800 jobs has now been repaid in full and delivered a significant additional payment for taxpayers, Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has confirmed today (26 June).
In 2020, the Government provided an emergency £30 million loan to Celsa Steel to help them continue trading during the Covid pandemic, saving over 1,500 jobs and creating a further 300 since the loan was provided.
This loan has now been repaid in full, and the company has made additional payments to the UK Government triggered by their strong economic performance following the loan.
These payments are in line with the terms which the Government secured to make sure taxpayer money was protected when it provided the emergency loan to Celsa Steel.
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said: “The swift action of the UK government in 2020 not only secured 1,800 high-skilled jobs, it has also now provided a welcome boost for taxpayers.
“This government is backing our vital steel industry, and we’re doing so with a sensible approach that ensures the future of an industry that is critically important in helping to grow the UK economy.”
Secretary of State for Wales David TC Davies said: “More than a thousand highly-skilled jobs at Celsa were protected by the quick action of the UK Government and the company to secure a deal amid the Covid pandemic.
“We have a long and proud history of steelmaking in Wales and we will continue to work to ensure the success of this vital industry.”
In its loan to Celsa Steel in 2020, the UK Government included a series of legally binding conditions including commitments to protect jobs, climate change and net zero targets, to make sure the loan would benefit not only the company’s workforce but also the country overall.
The Government has taken extensive action to support the UK steel industry more widely, including the British Industry Supercharger, announced in February 2023. This will bring energy costs for energy intensive industries, including steel companies like Celsa, in line with the world’s major economies.
Carles Rovira, CEO of Celsa UK said: “We were extremely grateful for the Government loan at the height of the pandemic in 2020 in recognition of the strategic importance of Celsa UK and our supply to major iconic construction projects.
“We are also extremely proud to have fully satisfied all the terms of the loan and to have completed the repayment. We look forward to ensuring sustainable construction in the UK through our low carbon footprint and our contribution to the circular economy.”
Industrial sectors, including steel, have also been able to bid for several government competitive funds to support them going green and cutting carbon emissions, and the Government has updated its Steel Procurement Policy Note to create a level playing field for UK steel producers.
The UK Government has also implemented a robust trade remedies framework to protect domestic industry as well as acting to resolve market access constraints on steel trade with the US and the EU.
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