Sir Alan Beith speaks out over future of Alcan jobs

A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has spoken out in support of jobs at a county employer.

A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has spoken out in support of jobs at a county employer.

Liberal Democrat Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith raised Lynemouth’s aluminium plant during parliamentary questions to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Chris Huhne.

Sir Alan said: “As Rio Tinto has shown itself more determined to sell aluminium plants across the world, including in Lynemouth, than to engage in the discussions that the Secretary of State has been willing to have with it, is he equally willing to have discussions with any new buyer who might be prepared to take on the Lynemouth plant?”

Mr Huhne responded: “I would be delighted to have discussions. I want to see jobs preserved both at Lynemouth and in the rest of the country. We hope that aluminium can continue to be produced in this country because, in our thrust towards low-carbon transition, we will need aluminium as part of the raw materials for that revolution.”

Speaking later, Sir Alan said “The loss of over 600 jobs would be devastating to Northumberland. I am pleased Chris Huhne has given his assurance that he will try to preserve these jobs in Lynemouth, however we should be preparing for the possibility of no buyer coming forward for the aluminium smelter. If this happens I will be calling for the whole former mining area from Blyth to Amble to be given Enterprise Zone status.”


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