NETWORK RAIL has welcomed the sale of British Steel to Chinese firm Jingye Group.
The new owner said the deal would save more than 3,000 jobs in Scunthorpe and Teesside, although around 450 workers will be made redundant.
British Steel was placed under the control of the Insolvency Service last year, and it was reported that Jingye had offered £50 million for the business. It has now pledged to invest some £1.2 billion over the next decade to upgrade the steel mills and machinery.
Jingye chief executive Li Hiuming said: ‘It has not been an easy journey since we first announced our intentions in November. But the longer I have spent in Scunthorpe, the more I have come to believe in the successful future of these steelworks and the employees that have made them famous throughout the world.’
Rails bought by Network Rail come from the works in Scunthorpe.
Network Rail chief executive Andrew Haines said: ‘We are delighted with today’s news that the sale of British Steel to Jingye has completed, securing the future of the business. We have given extensive support to British Steel and the official receiver throughout this process and we look forward to continuing this relationship with the new owner.
‘British Steel is a major supplier to Network Rail and plays a vital role in our work to safely run the railway for the millions of people who rely on it every day.’