DOZENS of potential buyers have expressed an interest in saving British Steel, as politicians maintain significant public subsidy and nationalisation remain rescue options.

Sixty potential buyers have been sent non-disclosure agreements giving them access to detailed commercial information about British Steel, which went into administration last week after rescue talks with the Government collapsed.

The Northern Echo:

The Northern Echo understands discussions with an additional 20 potential buyers are also ongoing to help rescue Britain's second-largest steel producer, which employs thousands of workers, including 700 in the North East at sites in Lackenby and Skinningrove.

Redcar MP Anna Turley said the revelation of dozens of potential buyers was "really positive news", whilst Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said all rescue options remained on the table – including nationalisation.

A Treasury-backed indemnity is still in place, meaning Government is keeping British Steel open and giving it the best chance of being saved.

Ms Turley said: "80 potential buyers is really positive news but also unsurprising given this is a strong British business with a brilliant workforce and a great order book.

"Everybody is working flat out to achieve a good result that will protect local jobs and the indemnity has given the space for this process of working with interested parties to happen.

"I would also echo the calls made by Britain’s steelmakers this week that Government must deliver on its promise of ‘remorseless’ support for the sector. For several years now, our steelmakers, with the support of the trade unions and steel MPs in Parliament, have been calling for a level playing field on issues like energy costs and business rates.

"The immediate concern is securing a future for British Steel, but the whole sector needs a fair trading environment to allow it to fulfil its full potential."

The Northern Echo:

Mr Houchen added: "Together, working with all local politicians, we are fighting behind the scenes to ensure that all options to save British Steel remain on the table - including significant public subsidy and nationalisation.

"Our overriding priority is to protect British Steel’s profitable plants at Lackenby and Skinningrove, and safeguard all 700 jobs in the region.

"Over the coming days and weeks, I'll update everyone as much as I can."

Last week, North-East MPs, council leaders and politicians said they were confident that the hundreds of steel making jobs in the region could be saved.

They used an emergency meeting held in Stockton to declare their focus was on "securing a new owner for British Steel in its entirety", and the option to nationalise British Steel "remained on the table".