The Business Department and the Scottish and Welsh Governments have backed a plan to maximise the use of British steel in major projects.
The Mirror told yesterday how UK Steel was calling on ministries, big infrastructure schemes and leading companies to sign the first “steel charter”.
Now we can reveal local authorities, RenewableUK and UK Onshore Oil & Gas have pledged their support.
UK Onshore Oil & Gas’s chief executive Ken Cronin said: “We are delighted to be supporting the UK steel charter.
“A review of our supply chain requirements in 2014 highlighted the need for potentially significant quantities of steel well casing, some of which could be sourced in the UK.”
Revealing the Welsh Government had become the first formal signatory, Economy Minister Ken Skates said: “This steel charter further demonstrates our commitment to the industry.
“It is a well thought-out, workable commitment from us as both supporters and procurers of Welsh steel, providing some much needed certainty to the industry here and ensuring our projects benefit from the use of high quality, British steel wherever possible.”
He urged other organisations to “look closely at how they too could play their part in ensuing we step up our support our British steel industry”.
Welcoming the move, UK Steel director Gareth Stace said: “UK public procurement accounts for a massive 14% of UK GDP each year, its decisions are therefore a hugely important policy tool and perhaps the most significant intervention the Government makes in the economy.
“Government procurement decisions are important in themselves but also as a driver and catalyst for positive change elsewhere in the economy.”
Other organisations signed up include CS Wind, the National Association of Construction Frameworks, Transport for Wales and councils in North Lincs, Redcar and Cleveland and Neath Port Talbot.
Liberty Steel UK’s chief business development officer, Iain Sinclair, said: “As a foundation industry, steel is very important for the health of the UK manufacturing sector and economy as a whole.
“If British businesses get behind our domestic steel sector it will pay dividends all round and help create a sustainable future.”