A NORTH-EAST builder is targeting work on both sides of the Border after it completed a deal for a Cumbrian firm.
"Esh Group is a business builder and this joining together of Border Construction and Esh Group will lead to expansion and more work for local people," said Brian Manning, who revealed that the deal had been under consideration for the last five years.
Esh, a £200m turnover group, is determined to strengthen its construction division which is bouncing back from a five-year slump in demand which has ravaged the industry.
Mr Manning noted that the housing sector was returning to health, which had sparked a upturn in infrastructure work, but he warned that contracts in commercial property were still thin on the ground.
"There are clear signs of things picking up and we are very upbeat," he added.
"This deal is a sign of our confidence in the Esh name and it gives us a much stronger presence in Cumbria and the Borders
"It is good news for the other operational areas of Esh Group in the North East and in Yorkshire where we continue to grow."
The deal means Esh Group owns both Border Holdings Limited and Border Construction Limited.
The new subsidiary will be known as Esh Border Construction and will continue to carry out work in Cumbria and the Scottish Borders.
Esh Group, which directly employs nearly 1,000 people, has offices in Durham, Cramlington, Leeds and Kendal and carries out construction work throughout the region.
Border Construction has 143 employees and has over the last few years successfully delivered a number of construction projects across a wide range of sectors including education, health, public buildings, social housing and commercial build.
These include award winning projects such as the Robert Burns National Birthplace Museum in Ayr and five new Fire and Rescue Stations throughout Cumbria, as part of the North West Fire and Rescue PFI Project.
Mr Manning, added: "We have built up a good business out of our Kendal office over the last four years and this acquisition gives us the opportunity to cement our position in both Cumbria and Scotland where Border has considerable turnover.
"The culture of Esh Group involves working closely with the communities in which we operate and that includes employing local people. We believe Border Construction's culture of quality work with dedicated employees will fit well with our model."
Peter Conway, managing director of Border Construction, said: "Esh Group has a very good reputation for business building and this deal will bring financial stability with it."