Mayor of the West Midlands signs the UK Steel Charter and pledges to buy British steel

The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, will sign up to the UK steel charter, in a historic move to promote UK-made steel in the region and support the economy.

The first metro Mayor in the UK to sign the charter, Mr Street today said there were ‘lots of opportunities’ for West Midlands-based firms to purchase domestic steel and has called for firms to commit themselves “wherever possible” to UK steel jobs.

The Mayor will visit and open the first production line at Marcegaglia, a new refurbished steel manufacturer in Oldbury, to put a spotlight on West Midlands made steel.

It comes after Metro Midland Alliance, the organisation designing and delivering new Metro schemes on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), confirmed an order of 860 tonnes of UK-made steel has been placed to use in the expansion of the metro line between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill.

The Wednesbury to Brierley Hill Metro extension will boost public transport in the Black Country. The first phase of the route will add nine stops to the local metro network linking people in Dudley to both Birmingham and Wolverhampton. The Mayor, who is also Chair of the WMCA, 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.”

The Steel Charter, first set up in 2019, supports the UK steel industry in its efforts to change the way it procures steel to include more domestic products.

The Charter encourages signatories – government administrations, local authorities, and private sector – to publicly signal their commitment to using UK steel in major projects.

UK steelmakers could supply industries such as energy, transport, and construction, with steel worth up to £3.8 billion a year by 2030. The UK’s steel sector employs 39,800 people directly and supports a further 50,000 in supply chains.

It comes as government data for 2022-23 shows of the total £603 million spent on steel in the past year, £365 million was UK-produced.   

The West Midlands has a strong industrial heritage, with the region is home to at least 15 sites manufacturing, processing and handling steel.

Marcegaglia UK, based in Sheffield, acquired the Oldbury site in 2021. An investment programme worth £32 million is underway at the site - creating an additional 70 jobs in the region on top of the 175 the company employs.  

The scheme will bring capacity to manufacture steel not produced domestically, allowing for more UK-made steel to be used in projects of all kinds. Gareth Stace, director general of 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.”


Add a comment

Rating *

Recently Played


  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Useful Links


Travel News

How To Listen

Latest Podcasts

92.2 / 102.5 FM
'Play Black Country Radio'