British Steel has announce a rescue deal by Chinese industrial giant Jingye Group, a source close to the matter annoucned.Jingye has announced that it would seek to "preserve thousands of jobs in a key foundation industry for the UK" but did not put a number on how many would be saved.

British Steel employs about 4,000 people in Scunthorpe and Teesside.   It has been kept running by the government via the Official Receiver since May, when the company went into liquidation.

Jingye said it anticipated making job offers "to as many employees across the business as possible".

Group chairman Li Ganpo said it would spend £1.2bn over the next decade in upgrading plant and machinery, "improving the company's environmental performance... and boosting energy efficiency to place the operations on a more competitive and sustainable footing".

It also said it would aim to identify new markets and products.

"The business will continue to trade as normal during the period between exchange and completion. Support from employees, suppliers and customers since the liquidation has been a critical factor in achieving this outcome."

Jingye will acquire the steelworks at Scunthorpe, UK steel mills and shares of FN Steel BV, British Steel France Rail SAS and TSP Engineering. The sale also includes the shares owned by BSL in Redcar Bulk Terminal.