Tata Steel sites to have reduced rates in bid to entice new operators

5 February 2016

Business rates at Tata Steel's two mothballed Scottish plants will be cut in the hope of attracting new operators.

The Scottish Government announced it would legislate for one year of relief on business rates, starting from April, at the Clydebridge site in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire, and the Dalzell plant in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire.

The reduced rates will be available to any new operator if they continue to use the sites for steel production.

The move was announced after the latest meeting of the Scottish steel taskforce, chaired by business minister Fergus Ewing.

He described the plan as "a powerful signal of the value we place on securing an alternative operator" for the two sites and helping them cut costs.

Efforts to secure new operators are continuing and the firms Liberty House and Greybull Capital have emerged as potential buyers.

Tata Steel announced 1200 UK job losses in October last year, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirming afterwards a taskforce would be established in an effort to keep the plants open.

Mr Ewing said: "The Scottish Government is acting to support the Scottish steel industry and is making every effort to attract potential buyers for the two plants.

"This relief on business rates is a powerful signal of the value we place on securing an alternative operator and helping them to cut costs.

"It initially applies for one year as we have already secured agreement that the Assessor will take the state of the steel industry into account for the 2017 revaluation.

"We continue to work constructively with taskforce partners to ensure a viable future for the plants, with action also being taken on energy costs, procurement and on environmental issues.

"To help a new operator restart operations, the Scottish Government has also invested £195,000 to keep key workers on standby to safeguard full manufacturing capability."