Up to 25,000 jobs at risk as British Steel buckles under mounting insolvency pressures


THE North of England has suffered another crippling body blow after British Steel collapsed into compulsory liquidation.

After business recovery talks failed, the jobs of almost 5,000 direct employees have been plunged into jeopardy by its insolvency.

Insolvency analysts predict that a further 20,000 workers in the company’s supply chain are also at risk.

The state-backed Official Receiver has now stepped in to take control of the insolvent business.

It follows failed talks with the Government about a £30m cash injection to head off insolvency, leading to directors petitioning the High Court to wind up the business.

The North of England will bear the brunt of the potential job losses, with British Steel having a number of major bases in North Lincolnshire, Teesside and Yorkshire.

These include Scunthorpe, Middlesbrough, Redcar, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Newcastle and Rotherham.

Union leaders described the insolvency as “devastating” for Scunthorpe in particular, and an “economic catastrophe” for the UK.

The UK’s second-largest steel maker buckled after a raft of different pressures increased on its balance sheet.

The perfect insolvency storm was caused by a slowdown in orders, rising raw material costs related to Brexit, the weakened Pound and repercussions from the US-China trade war.

In a bleak weak for business, the insolvency announcement comes just less than 24 hours after celebrity chef Jamie Oliver closed the doors on his restaurant empire – which included eateries in Leeds, York and Harrogate – and placed it into administration. More than 1,000 jobs are at risk as a result of its insolvency.

For more information about the work of our licensed insolvency practitioners and businesses recovery teams in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Darlington, please call us on 03300 244 660 or email confidential@walshtaylor.co.uk