A FAMILY-RUN steel fabrication company has strengthened its market standing with two education sector deals.

Finley Structures is working on a 360-tonne sports village project at the University of Hull.

The business, based in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, has also completed a 625-tonne contract at Sheffield’s Bannerdale School.

The deals follow several nationwide agreements in the education sector for Finley and provide a welcome lift after the firm last month fell victim to thieves in a £210,000 steel raid.

Andrew Workman, estimating manager, said the company hopes to benefit from what it describes as a construction boom in the learning sector, with universities looking to improve facilities.

He said: “These new contracts underline our reputation and we’re seeing a definite upward curve in education contracts at the moment, with particularly universities looking to expand.

“Newcastle, Durham, Teesside, Leeds, Lincoln, York, Warwick, Coventry, Birmingham and Bristol universities are all building, and we’re tendering for a lot of work in that sector, which is very promising.”

The business, which built the steel frame for Aycliffe trainbuilder Hitachi Rail Europe’s £82m factory, is working with Henry Boot Construction on its Hull sports village project.

It supported Bam Construction at Bannerdale School, overseeing the installation of pre-cast concrete floor planks, concrete stair cases, a lift shaft and ground beams.

The business previously helped to build Roundhay School, in Leeds, for Interserve Construction; Ryde Academy, on the Isle of Wight, for Sir Robert McAlpine; Doncaster Sixth Form College, for BAM Construction; George Mitchell School, in London, for Bowmer and Kirkland; and SEMH School, in Seacroft, east Leeds, for Interserve.

It also fabricated and erected the steel frame for The Curve building at Teesside University.

The firm was last month rocked, however, after a criminal gang stole four trailers of steel from a compound.

The raid also affected sister firm SCH Site Services.

It is believed the thieves initially moved the steel to Darlington’s Faverdale industrial estate before shifted it elsewhere in the country.