A CONSTRUCTION firm employing scores of North-East workers has secured a £154m deal to maintain the UK's Olympic Games legacy.

Balfour Beatty, which has offices in Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle, is working on the London Olympic Stadium to transform it into a multi-use venue.

Balfour bosses say they expect to employ up to 400 people on the project.

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The site will host five matches during the 2015 Rugby World Cup and will be the permanent home of Premier League strugglers West Ham United from 2016.

It will also be a new national competition stadium for UK athletics, hosting regional and national age group championships, as well as elite international events, such as the 2017 IAAF World Championships.

The company previously helped build the £269m Olympic Games' swimming centre, and was awarded the new contract by the E20 Stadium Partnership, a joint venture between the London Legacy Development Corporation and Newham Council.

Andrew McNaughton, Balfour Beatty's chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our activity at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park supporting the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“The stadium will provide a first-class sporting and cultural facility for many generations.”

Work is expected to start early this year and be completed by Spring 2016.

Balfour employs more than 100 construction workers across Newcastle and Sunderland, and has a 50 strong Middlesbrough power distribution team, which works alongside National Grid and Northern Powergrid.