Minister for Investment, Lord Grimstone today (8 June 2021) co-chaired the second meeting of the Steel Procurement Taskforce alongside Gareth Stace of UK Steel.

The Steel Procurement Taskforce brings together representatives from across the UK government and the five major steel companies in the UK, as well as UK Steel, the sector’s trade association, trade unions and the Scottish and Welsh governments. It forms part of the UK government’s ongoing commitment to support the sustainability of the steel sector by exploring what government and industry can do to address challenges the sector has reported facing in competing for and securing public contracts.

The Minister opened by discussing the progress made since the previous meeting. Sector representatives and officials have explored the barriers that may prevent the sector from competing for and securing public contracts, including whether steel producers are always aware of public contract opportunities and access to data.

It was agreed that there may be opportunities for both the sector and government to take further action to support the sector in fairly competing for and securing public contracts.

Over the coming months, the taskforce will focus on identifying specific options for further action. The taskforce will aim to report its findings later this year.

Closing the meeting, Lord Grimstone emphasised the strategic importance of the UK’s steel sector for producing the high quality steel required to deliver on the government’s commitment to build back better from the pandemic and supporting high skilled, well paid jobs across the UK.

The government has already taken wide-ranging action to support the industry including more than £500 million relief for electricity costs since 2013, the publication of public procurement guidelines, annual reports on the proportion of public sector steel sourced from British producers, and details of a steel pipeline on national infrastructure projects which will require nearly 7.6 million tonnes of steel over the next decade.

Today’s attendees included:

  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • Cabinet Office
  • Department for Transport
  • Department of Education
  • NHS England & NHS Improvement
  • UK Steel
  • British Steel
  • Tata
  • Celsa
  • Liberty Steel
  • Sheffield Forgemasters
  • Scottish Government
  • Welsh Government

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    Lord Grimstone co-chairs second Steel Procurement Taskforce meeting

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