A FAMILY-RUN steel fabrication company has completed a 1,100-tonne project on a city regeneration scheme.

Finley Structures supported work on a retail and entertainment complex in Durham City.

The firm, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, was charged with fabricating and erecting 1,100 tonnes of steel on top of an existing concrete structure.

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Redevelopment bosses say the project will include a 445-bed student accommodation unit, a cinema and a number of bars and restaurants, with the riverside area expected to be transformed by next year.

John Finley, founder and managing director of the company, which built the steel frame for Aycliffe trainbuilder Hitachi Rail Europe’s £82m factory, said the business was thrilled to have played its part in the scheme.

However, Mr Finley also revealed the contract feels like a personal victory, as it is the first project he has won in his home city after nearly 40 years in the construction industry.

Mr Finley, who is originally from Esh Winning, near Durham City, said: “Even going back to my original steel erecting days in the late 1970s, I’d never worked on a project in the city.

“Since starting out in business in 1981, that pattern had continued, despite many student accommodation projects being carried out around the city in recent years.

“So to have finally won a contract in Durham City is very much a personal victory for me and the company and we’re naturally delighted.”

The business was awarded a contract by Sir Robert McAlpine to work on the complex, and Mr Finley said he was delighted to maintain what has become a longstanding relationship with the operator.

Finley previously revealed a deal to fabricate and erect a 960-tonne frame for Hull Venue, with the 3,500-seat building expected to host music gigs, comedy acts and touring performers, as well as sporting events, conferences and exhibitions.

Further agreements have included a 614-tonne project for Carillion Construction, in Sunderland, a 283-tonne scheme to build a Hilton Hotel in Lincoln, and a 465-tonne project to provide a Lancashire haulage firm with a new distribution centre.