First Minister reopens Motherwell steel mill

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chats to staff at Dalzell Works.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon chats to staff at Dalzell Works.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in Motherwell to reopen the Dalzell Works as steel production returned to the town.

Tata Steel mothballed the plant in December, but the Scottish Government arranged a ‘back to back’ agreement to buy it and immediately selling it on to Liberty House.

Liberty officially took over the plant in April and currently employs 120 staff with hopes this will increase to 200 within 18 months.

Jon Bolton, chief executive of Liberty Steel UK Plates and UK Steel Development, was delighted to see the furnaces relit for the first time in months.

He said: “Without restarting, there wouldn’t be a steel industry in Scotland. I think it is hugely advantageous.

“Today was the day we said we would start production and we are doing so with a vengeance. We intend to ramp up production to 150,000 tonnes a year.”

Ms Sturgeon was given a tour of the Dalzell mill met workers and apprentices before the plant was blessed in a traditional Indian ceremony.

She said: “This is a fantastic day for Dalzell workers, for Motherwell and for Scotland’s steel industry.

“Restarting steel production has only been possible thanks to the tremendous team effort of everyone involved in the steel taskforce to find a viable future for this site, meaning workers here in Lanarkshire can once again produce world-class products.

“Liberty House are seizing an exciting opportunity and the Scottish Government and its agencies will continue to work with Sanjeev Gupta and his team to ensure a successful future in Scotland.”