Marion Fellows, Motherwell and Wishaw MP, met last week with Dalzell steelworks General Manager, Drew McGhie, to discuss the future of steel in Scotland following her appointment as SNP spokesperson for Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
Marion, a former college business lecturer, was appointed to the role last week after a SNP group reshuffle at Westminster.
On her appointment, Marion said:
“I am delighted to be appointed to the role and can’t wait to get to work representing small businesses and encouraging enterprise and innovation.
“Locally there is a lot to be done to revive our town centres and create employment. I’m hoping to bring together local stakeholders to do just that.”
The Dalzell steelworks were saved following Scottish Government intervention last year which saw Liberty take over from Tata saving hundreds of jobs.
The plant makes specialist rolled steel often used in offshore wind farms. All plants capable of producing raw steel in Scotland were closed under Thatcher’s government.
Discussions took place on the progress made since Liberty’s takeover of the plant, the role of the UK and Scottish Governments, energy issues and a strategy for the industry.
Commenting on her meeting with Drew McGhie, Marion said:
“It was a pleasure speaking to Mr McGhie last week and hearing about how our steelworks are progressing under Liberty’s ownership.
“Although the Scottish Government saved the plant, the UK Government has to outline a proper industrial strategy to create the right conditions for manufacturing businesses. I’m listening to businesses locally and nationally to make sure this happens.
“With great capabilities in engineering research and innovation through our universities; works like Dalzell that make steel for wind turbines; and great potential for renewable energy in Scotland, there are plenty of opportunities to grow in these sectors.
“We need a UK Government that is willing to develop and encourage these markets. The UK Government has slashed support for renewable industries and not put forward a credible industrial strategy and is instead focussing on the service sector. We need a diverse economy that creates opportunities for all skillsets and sectors.”