First Metro Mayor pledge to use more UK steel after huge Metro Rail steel order

5 September 2023

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

To celebrate, the Mayor is visiting West Midlands steelmakers Marcegaglia’s newly-refurbished site in Oldbury to put a spotlight on the West Midlands steel sector.

The West Midlands is home to at least 15 sites manufacturing, processing and handling steel and Marcegaglia’s Oldbury site refurbishment, manufacturing welded steel tubes and more, will bring even more jobs to the local community. Andy will even press “go” to launch a new production line as he signs the UK Steel Charter.

Marcegaglia UK acquired the Oldbury site in 2021 and is currently undertaking a £32 million investment programme. Their investment will create up to 70 more jobs in the West Midlands region, on top of the 175 the company employs. The scheme will bring capacity to manufacture steel products in the UK that are not currently produced domestically, allowing for more UK-made steel to be used in projects of all kinds.

The UK’s steel sector employs some 40,000 people directly and supports a further 50,000 in supply chains. Andy will throw down the gauntlet to challenge construction companies, businesses and other mayors to explore where the steel they purchase is made and if they are supporting homegrown jobs.

Mr Street is proving his commitment too. Under his leadership, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is mounting a huge 860 tonne order for UK-made steel in the expansion of the Metro Rail for the Wednesbury to Brierley Hill scheme.

Andy Street, who 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 Britain. 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.”

Nick Haycock, General Manager, Mecegaglia UK, said:

“We are proud to be the UK’s leading providers of precision carbon welded tubes, having been founded over 30 years ago. With year-on-year investment, Marcegaglia UK now produces 110,000 tonnes of welded tubes. With the recent and more substantial investment, Marcegaglia UK is making is a great opportunity for the UK and our local West Midlands region to boost jobs and economic growth as we develop our capacity.

“On top of this, Marcegaglia acquired upstream manufacturing facilities in Sheffield this year. This primary stainless steel making asset is worth several hundreds of millions to the UK economy. The investment in this facility means a return to full capacity of 500,000 tonnes of steel.

“The UK has now become the second most important country for the Marcegaglia Group.Producing our steel tubular products here means UK-made steel is supplying national projects like HS2. It is now crucial to create a robust UK industrial strategy to support the competitiveness of the UK steel industry, to preserve and develop production and increase employment, also in view of the export flows requirements.”

Contact details
Louise Young, Campaigns and Engagement Manager, UK Steel
07388 370176 |