A Turkish firm is in the running to take over British Steel.

Reports today say the Official Receiver will this week announce that Ataer Holding, an investment arm of Turkey's armed forces pension fund is the preferred bidder.

British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation in May after talks between its owner Greybull Capital and the Government stalled.

Greybull Capital had been seeking financial support from the Government, saying it faced a number of Brexit-related issues but talks failed.

But the Government said it would be unlawful for it to intervene.

Workington's TSP Engineering is a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Steel.

John Coughlan, chief executive of the specialist manufacturer, based at Derwent Howe, said: "TSP Engineering is fully supportive of British Steel's efforts and results to bring itself out of insolvency.

"We are fully behind them and fully supportive.

"TSP Engineering is an independent company and we were not involved in the insolvency process that surrounded British Steel.

"We continue as a separate business to trade as normal, as a strong and solvent business."

TSP Engineering employs around 220 people.

It was owned by Tata Steel, but was part of the group of businesses sold to Greybull Capital in 2016, under the British Steel Ltd banner.

TSP is one of the largest engineering facilities in the UK, comprising 19,200sq m of workshop capacity, five metre deep pits and a lifting capacity of 130 tonnes.

Ataer owns nearly 50 per cent of Turkey's biggest steel producer, Erdemir, the BBC said.

It is the investment vehicle of the Turkish Armed Forces Assistance Fund, known as Oyak, the pension fund for the country's armed forces.

The Financial Times said Ataer, established by Oyak in 2005, plans to embark on a spate of global steel acquisitions and considers buying British Steel a bold first step that would be a signal of intent.

Earlier this week, it was revealed a British-West African industrial consortium has submitted a last-minute rescue offer to snap up the British Steel plant in Scunthorpe.

The consortium involves a leading UK civil engineering company operating in West Africa.

The group is working on a long-term massive infrastructure project in West Africa and would export steel from Scunthorpe to the project, were it to successfully acquire the site.

A rival offer was also reportedly on the table from Liberty House, a UK industrial conglomerate led by metals magnate Sanjeev Gupta.