At the final First Minister’s Questions before the Scottish Parliament is dissolved for May’s election today (Wednesday) Nicola Sturgeon provided an update for MSPs.
The Scottish Government invested £190,000 to ensure the plants in Motherwell and Coatbridge would be ready to operate immediately should a new buyer be found after they were mothballed by Tata.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Negotiations between Liberty House, Tata Steel and the Scottish Government are continuing as we speak to secure the basis of an agreement which will see the Scottish Government buy the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants and immediately sell them on to Liberty at the same consideration.
“Fergus Ewing is attending a meeting of the Scottish Steel Task Force this afternoon and will provide further information at that point.
“I want to thank the workforce, the unions and the companies for their patience and perseverance, we promised to leave no stone unturned to secure the future of our steel industry and that is what we will continue to do.”
Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland, a former steelworker himself, is delighted the Scottish Government has stepped in the same way it did when Prestwick Airport faced financial problems.
He said: “I think this is fantastic news for the workforce and the wider community and it is good to see the Scottish Government has repeated what they did when Prestwick needed help and the sooner we now get the plants reopened the better.”
Central Scotland list MSP Clare Adamson added: “This is fantastic news for Lanarkshire and is testament to the hard work and tenacity of the Scottish Government, the Scottish Steel Task Force, the trade unions and all of those involved in saving these jobs.
“Lanarkshire’s steel industry is iconic not just locally but right across Scotland – I sincerely hope that this news will mean Lanarkshire’s furnaces will continue to burn for some time to come.”