April 1, 2020 @ 9:40 by Steven Hugill
A County Durham steel fabrication firm has secured a contract to support a local authority’s office transformation plan.
Finley Structures is supplying 12,000 metres of steel for Durham County Council’s new headquarters.
The authority is building a smaller base on the city’s Sands car park as part of wider plans to rejuvenate the area’s business community.
By shifting from its existing County Hall base, the council says it blueprint will free up crucial space to create a 6000-job commercial district in the Aykley Heads area, which it believes will help deliver a £400 million boost.
Family-run Finley Structures, which is based in Newton Aycliffe, is supporting the project after being appointed by major contractor Kier.
The business will fabricate and erect 12,000 linear metres of steel for the office development, with the endeavour coming two years after the company completed major works on Durham’s Riverwalk scheme.
Julie Raistrick, Finley Structures’ managing director, said: “It’s great to be back in Durham working on another project on our doorstep.
“We work across the country, but as a North East firm, we love working on local projects, particularly in Durham – given that our founder John Finley was born just a few short miles away.
“We’re now helping to change the skyline of Durham for a generation, so we’re very proud to be leaving our footprint on the huge developments that are happening in the city.
“It is vital local contractors are being given the opportunity to work on such an important local project, which will be Durham County Council’s new headquarters for decades to come.”
As well as a return to Durham, the project also marks a repeat of business between Finley Structures and Kier, with the Aycliffe firm having previously completed a 330-tonne project for the operator at Bishop Auckland’s Bishop Barrington School.
“We are proud to be working collaboratively with Finley Structures to deliver the new steel structure,” added Phil McDowell, operations director of Kier Regional Building North East England and Scotland.
“We are dedicated to leaving lasting legacies in areas in which we build,” continued Phil, who revealed Kier’s work will support around 250 construction jobs.
“Currently, 95 per cent of our supply chain for this project is within a 40-mile radius and we have three apprentices learning all about a career within the built environment.”
Finley Structures is known for operating nationwide across a number of industrial sectors.
Its portfolio includes previous work to build the steel frame for trainbuilder Hitachi Rail’s £82 million factory in Newton Aycliffe.