AN engineering firm employing hundreds of North-East workers has secured a contract to help decommission a former nuclear research plant.

Amec, which has more than 400 staff in Darlington, has won a four-year deal to work on the Dounreay nuclear site, on the Caithness coast, in Scotland.

The work will include safety case preparation, environmental support and waste services.

Dounreay was a UK centre of reactor research between 1955 and 1994, with scientists and engineers working with plutonium, uranium and other metals.

Amec's Darlington offices are the company's European engineering headquarters, with its engineering division providing technical support to clients across the world.

Earlier this year, The Northern Echo revealed bosses plan to create 700 North-East jobs this year by taking on welders, pipe fitters, tank erectors and riggers across the region.

It also previously agreed to a £2bn deal to buy US firm Foster Wheeler, which has offices in Middlesbrough and employs more than 13,000 workers in 30 countries, in a bid to win more contracts in oil and gas markets.