WE want to say a huge thank you to the generous readers who have backed our campaign to save Orb steelworks.

Our industrious and impassioned readers have taken up the call to arms, invoking neighbours, friends and family to back our petition.

We have received just under 200 fresh signatures, meaning we now have around 300 people who have added their voice to a growing plea for the UK Government to step in and help save Orb steelworks.

In September, Tata Steel announced plans for the plant’s closure – putting 380 jobs at risk.

Apart from such job-losses being needless, The Argus also believes closing the plant will mean missing a crucial opportunity to ensure the UK leads in the production of electric vehicles.  

A strategy drawn up by steel workers union Communion and consultants Syndex concludes that the plant could be saved with £30 million of government funding.

The plant would produce the non-orientated steels required for electric vehicles; alongside the grain-orientated steels it currently makes. It would mean a Wales-only supply chain, using coils from the Port Talbot works.

This plan wouldn’t just save the steelworks but would boost the Welsh economy and protect UK interests in electric vehicle production.


And Newport Council Leader Debbie Wilcox says she “understand the strength of feeling from workers, families and the local community who are fighting to retain the Orb”.

Indeed, hundreds marched through Newport on October 13 to protest the planned closures. 

Coun Wilcox added: “The Orb has been an important part of Newport’s industrial landscape for many years.

“It has been reported the company is planning to offer redeployment to employees at its other Welsh plants and hopefully this could help the workforce through what must be a difficult and worrying time.”

She also said the council will “continue to offer support to the company where possible and hopes a solution can be found which will see the firm retain its base in the city”.

Click here to download the petition: South Wales Argus Orb Petition.pdf

Print it out, sign it, get your friends and family to sign it, and drop it into the Argus office in Cardiff Road, Maesglas, Newport, NP20 3QN.