06 September 2023
Corporate News

West Midlands Mayor pledges to use more UK steel

Public procurement projects could use more UK made steel such as from Tata Steel's Shotton site in North Wales

Andy Street, Metro Mayor for the West Midlands, today signed the UK Steel Charter, committing to using UK-made steel wherever possible in key projects in his region.

The UK Steel Charter provides organisations with a range of simple, practical steps they can take to open up their procurement approach, increase opportunities for UK steel producers, and manufacturing supply chains, and maximise the economic and social value of their projects.

Andy Streetwho is also chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, said: “By signing the UK Steel Charter, we’re signalling our commitment to back British steel - supporting well paid and highly skilled manufacturing jobs and training opportunities that will benefit local people right across our region.

“This initiative can help to increase the amount of high quality steel manufactured in Britain and increase 
the supply of British made steel contributing to key West Midlands projects.

“I very much hope our decision will encourage others to follow suit – impacting positively on the supply 
chain, our region and indeed the wider UK economy in the months and years ahead."

Gareth Stace, Director General, UK Steel, said: “We welcome Mayor Street’s pledge to use UK-made steel for his construction projects right across the West Midlands. Mayor Street is already making good on his pledge, by ensuring British produced steel is being used for his celebrated Metro Rail extension.

“All major construction and engineering projects both here in the West Midlands and throughout the UK
will reap benefits from purchasing steel that is made, processed, and delivered here in Britian.

"Why expose your project to the whims of unpredictable global supply chains, when you have the option of a 
reliable local business to partner with, throughout the lifetime of your project. Using UK steel is quite 
simply a win-win for everyone."

UK Steel Charter

Steel in public procurement

  • There is an expected requirement for 8.1Mt of steel over the next decade for publicly procured projects. 
  • Of the total £603m spent on steel in the past year, £365m was UK-produced.  
  • A further £120m of procured steel could not be produced in the UK (according to officials), and an additional £118m of steel was also procured elsewhere.  
  • UK Steel estimates that this equates to 20% of steel overall being procured that is not produced in the UK (as far as officials state) and 20% of steel that could have been procured in the UK, but was not. 

About the UK Steel Charter
The UK Steel Charter is a commitment that shows how the West Midlands Combined Authority aims to 
change procurement processes to include more UK-made steel and support the economy.
The Charter enables government departments, devolved administrations, local authorities, and private 
organisations, to publicly signal their commitment to using UK steel in major projects.

About the UK steel industry
The UK steel sector: 

  • Produces 6Mt of crude steel a year, around 70% of the UK’s annual requirement (annual demand of 8.9Mt) 
  • Employs 39,800 people directly in the UK and supports a further 50,000 in supply chains 
  • The median steel sector salary is £39,637, 43% higher than the UK national median and 56% higher than the regional median in Wales, and Yorkshire & Humberside, where its jobs are concentrated 
  • Directly contributes £2.9 billion to UK GDP and supports a further £3.8 billion 
  • Directly contributes £4 billion to the UK’s balance of trade 
  • 96% of steel used in construction and infrastructure in the UK is recovered and recycled to be used again and again

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