A NORTH-EAST steel fabricator could create about 20 new jobs after forming a new company.

South Durham Structures (SDS), in Bishop Auckland, has set up ACL Structural Steelwork Limited, in Dorset, which it says will allow it to expand and carry out more projects across the country.

The firm, set up in 1981, is headed by managing director, Brian Hope, and employs about 30 workers at its North-East fabrication plant, in South Church Enterprise Park.

It has previously worked on a number of projects, including Shrewsbury Town Football Club's new Greenhous Meadow stadium, a trail at Edinburgh Zoo as well as the North-East Autism Society Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, and Bannatyne Fitness' Darlington-based head offices.

Mr Hope said SDS set up ACL after the collapse of previous firm, ACL Structures, and has retained its original fabrication building, with all administration and accountancy work based in Bishop Auckland.

He said ACL would cover work across the South, in London and Wales, with SDS carrying out work in the North and Scotland, and hoped to start work in Dorset next month.

Mr Hope said: “We see this as an opportunity which we can benefit from, and hope to get the fabrication work down there started soon.

“We have met with ex-ACL employees and they are champing at the bit to get back into work.

“There are not that many fabrication companies down there, and this could create between 10 and 20 jobs initially and potentially more in the future.

“It is something we hope will be a big success, we have a good name and a good workforce.”