HUNDREDS of jobs have been safeguarded after a County Durham-based firm signed a contract to build part of the new Forth crossing.
Cleveland Bridge will make steel girders to support viaducts at both ends of the £790 million bridge.
The firm, which has built structures all over the world including the Sydney Harbour Bridge, said the deal would secure 260 jobs and create 100.
Carlo Germani, project director of the Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors consortium, said: “Cleveland Bridge rightly enjoys an international reputation for their specialist skills and expertise built up over many years.”
The crossing is due to open in 2016.
General manager Andy Hall said Cleveland Bridge had beaten international competition to secure the deal.
He said: “This contract will provide a solid foundation for the next 18 months.”