Tough market hits British Steel jobs at Workington

British Steel is cutting 91 jobs over the course of this year at its main engineering businesses in Workington. Cumbria Engineering, with a workforce of 280, has been unprofitable for some time, said British Steel, because its main UK engineering markets are severely depressed. Fierce competition, low prices and the strength of sterling are compounding […]

British Steel is cutting 91 jobs over the course of this year at its main engineering businesses in Workington.

Cumbria Engineering, with a workforce of 280, has been unprofitable for some time, said British Steel, because its main UK engineering markets are severely depressed. Fierce competition, low prices and the strength of sterling are compounding difficult trading circumstances.

The cuts are designed to stem further losses and secure a future for the Workington plant.

Last year, British Steel tried to sell its engineering businesses, which employ 1,500 workers. They comprise Cumbria Engineering, Continuous Casting Services and Developments (CCS&D) and the Ogden & Lawson Foundry.

But in January it decided to abandon the sale, claiming the trading climate made the prospects of finding a buyer ‘extremely slim’.

A full review is also taking place of CCS&D, which is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

British Steel is supporting new high-technology businesses in 20 traditional UK steel making areas by joining the Department of Trade and Industry-backed Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme. It is the first time that the scheme, launched in 1981 to encourage banks to lend where they would not normally do so, will focus on a particular sector.