£9 million support package to ease impact of 500 Tata job losses

A £9 million support package for Rotherham steelworkers facing redundancy and and businesses fearing the impact of job cuts at Tata is being put together by politicians and business leaders.

Rotherham Borough Council leader Cllr Chris Read said he was determined to help the 500-plus Aldwarke workers and those in the supply chain expected to hit be hard by the firm’s restructuring.

UK Steel Enterprise has pledged £1.55 million of support for job creation and the council and its partners are calling for £2.5 million in funding from central Government to help employees and companies affected across the Sheffield City Region.

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A further £1.5 million is being sought from the Government's deregulated skills budget to prepare former steelworkers for jobs in other industries, or to set up their own small businesses.  

The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has indicated that businesses affected can access financial support from its £52million Business Investment Fund.

The overall amount will be determined by individual business need but could total in excess of £3 million to £4 million.

Cllr Read said a task group was shaping the plan and preparing to co-ordinate its delivery

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Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey was due to meet Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, on today.

Cllr Read said: “Workers in Rotherham who are facing redundancy will want to know that we are doing everything to support them and help them back to work. This is a very difficult time for them and their families and I am determined that we will do all that we can.

“Companies in the supply chain will feel the impact too, and we will also be working to support these businesses, and their employees, as a key part of this plan.”

Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers' union, Community, has also been making direct representations to Government.

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He said today: “It is only right and proper that Government delivers a level of support to South Yorkshire's steelworkers which has been promised to other areas.

“Support packages are vitally important to protect our steel communities. But alone they are insufficient.

“We need continued action from all stakeholders to put in place the necessary policies and investment to secure a sustainable future for the steel industry in South Yorkshire and throughout the UK.”