A CONSTRUCTION firm has secured a £4.4m deal to refurbish a building dedicated to a North-East author.

Surgo Construction has been appointed by Newcastle University to work on its Catherine Cookson extension and social hub.

The contract takes Surgo’s order book to £8.5m in the quarter.

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The company was chosen as principal contractor to oversee the work, which will also see Durham-based architect Howarth Litchfield Partnership focus on laboratory improvements and fellow architect Faulkner Browns carry out courtyard extension.

The 53-week contract starts this month.

Jeff Alexander, Surgo director, said: “We are pleased to be working with the university again.

“This appointment demonstrates there is still work to be won in the higher education sector, in spite of the challenges regional contractors have faced recently with competition from national frameworks.”

Surgo has also won £1.6m work at Durham University’s Christopherson Building, has a £1.4m contract to build a GP surgery and clinic, in Wheatley Hill, east Durham, and is carrying out a £900,000 project at Trinity Academy, in Doncaster, to provide a link corridor to a new teaching block.

Last year, it won work at Durham University, the Royal Grammar School, in Jesmond, and Sacred Heart Catholic High School, in Fenham, both in Newcastle.