A CONSTRUCTION firm has hailed improving market conditions after securing £500m work.

Kier Group, which has offices in Peterlee, east Durham, Newcastle and Hebburn, South Tyneside, says the sector's growth has helped lifted its order book to £2.6bn.

Bosses added its property division has maintained its growth, with future work of more than £1bn.

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Kier has carried out work on Durham Police's £14m headquarters, in Durham City, which will open this summer, and its property division is supporting North Tyneside Council on the £100m regeneration of the former Swan Hunter shipyard, in Wallsend.

Its Hebburn construction arm starts £60m work later this year on schools across Stockton, Redcar and Cleveland, Hartlepool and Sunderland.

It said: “With the UK construction market improving, the construction division is seeing opportunities increase and we have secured more than £500m in contracts.

“The order book of secured or probable work stands at about £2.6bn, and there is strong work overseas, including a Caribbean health project and construction management on a new £33m Qatar hotel.

“The private housing business has also performed well, supported by the Government's Help to Buy scheme, and should deliver about 600 completions this year.”