Tata to hand over Scottish steel works to new owner

Tata to hand over Scottish steel works to new owner

Britain's steel industry has something to celebrate, with the official handover of two Scottish steel works to a new owner.

The Indian conglomerate Tata Steel will hand over the keys of two Lanarkshire steel plants to metals firm Liberty House. 

Workers at the plant said on Thursday they felt ''encouraged'' about efforts to save their jobs after hearing from the UK Business Secretary that Tata is planning to act responsibly over the sale of its UK assets.

The sale process for the giant Tata works is due to start on Monday.

Sajid Javid flew back from a meeting in Mumbai - at which he pressed Tata officials for more time over the sale of its steel plants - to spend hours at Port Talbot in talks with unions and staff.

Mr Javid had been in Australia on a business trip when the steel firm made the shock announcement it was selling its loss-making plants just over a week ago.

The handover ceremony at the Dalzell works on Friday is good news for the struggling industry, and will be attended by Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The plants - Dalzell in Motherwell and Clydebridge in Cambuslang - were secured last month in a ''back to back'' agreement, involving the Scottish Government buying them from Tata Steel, and immediately selling them on to Liberty.

Sanjeev Gupta, executive chair of Liberty House Group, said when the agreement was reached on March 24: ''This agreement saves two great facilities in Scotland.

''Now we must turn our attention to restoring these businesses to their former glory, steadily rebuilding their skilled workforces and customer base."