News that a Chinese industrial giant had struck a rescue deal with British Steel saving 4,000 jobs was broken on Sunday night to regulars at a bar in Scunthorpe.
A group of businessmen were in Mulligan's bar in Normanby Road on Sunday night.
Applause rang out as one of the businessmen - ostensibly from Jingye - said they had been bought a drink by their British Steel colleague, adding: "We want to buy everybody a drink for (sic) return".
To more cheers and laughter he added: "Today the firm news is that we have already signed the contract with the Government and we will buy BS."
A spokesman for the bar said around half a dozen businessmen had been chatting with locals.
"It's strange - it's not something that happens every day. They were really polite, obviously generous and kind."
On Monday the Official Receiver confirmed that a sales contract had been entered into with Jingye Steel (UK) Ltd and Jingye Steel (UK) Holding Ltd (together, Jingye), to acquire the business and assets of British Steel Limited (BSL), including the steelworks at Scunthorpe, UK mills and shares of FN Steel BV, British Steel France Rail SAS and TSP Engineering.
It has been reported that Jingye is set to sweeten the £70 million deal with the promise it can also access up to £300 million in loans, indemnities and grants to back its plan to boost production at the plant by 10%.
Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of the steelworkers’ trade union Community, said despite the uncertainty, workers had been breaking production records to give the business a chance.
He said: “We welcome this positive step towards securing British Steel under new ownership. Jingye’s interest rightly demonstrates that they believe that British Steel can have a sustainable future.
"Whatever government is in place in the coming weeks it is vital that all steps are taken to successfully conclude this process - everyone needs to remain focussed on achieving that outcome to save our steel. Until a deal is completed, all viable options to securing the business should remain on the table.
Paul McBean, Community’s lead rep at British Steel in Scunthorpe, said: “This is good news for everyone at British Steel and we are really hopeful that this will secure our future.
"We still need to have the detailed discussions but this is the kind of announcement we’ve been waiting for.
"It’s a tribute to all of the workforce who have done everything to get us to this point today and to show what we are capable of."